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Get ready for the IoT of things onslaught

20 Feb 15

Consumer adoption of connected devices and smart technology is poised for huge growth, and resellers would be wise to get ready to ride the IoT wave.

A new report by US company Acquity Group takes a look at consumer adoption of connected devices and smart technology, now and in the future. 

The report says that although the Internet of Things is still in its infancy, the technology is poised for massive growth in the next decade.

“As it becomes less expensive to integrate technology into physical objects, we will see more application and adoption of this technology,” it says.

Acquity Group says the Internet of Things will have major implications for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies in the next five years.

While consumer adoption of connected technology will be more gradual in the short term, widespread adoption will be inevitable over the next five years.

Currently, 7% of consumers own a wearable IoT device and 4% of consumers own an in-home IoT device. Nearly two-thirds of consumers plan to buy an in-home device in the next five years and wearable technology ownership will double by 2015 - increasing from 7% in 2014 to 14% by 2015. By 2016, wearable technology is expected to double again and reach a total of 28% adoption rate.

Among wearable technology devices, the report says wearable fitness applications and technology stand to see the most growth in the short term, with smart watches the second most popular wearable device. The report says smart clothing and heads-up displays are the least likely to catch on. 

Lack of perceived value for in-home IoT devices was the leading cause to why respondents had not purchased smart technologies, at 36%, followed by concerns with price at 23%.

The report says that because many hurdles associated with widespread IoT adoption stem from lack of understanding about the benefits of smart technology and connected devices, better educating consumers will be an important factor in growing this market.

Acquity Group says businesses can overcome potential barriers such as usefulness, price, security and privacy through a variety of means. According to the survey, the majority of consumers are open to purchasing connected devices and products instead of the everyday items they’re used to. 

For example, 71% of consumers would purchase a smart refrigerator if offered at the store instead of the standard model. “This suggests that point-of-sale information from sales associates and promotions could be effective ways for retailers to increase sales of certain types of connected technology,” the report says.

Acquity Group’s study suggests an overall shift in consumer perception about connected technology and demonstrates openness for adoption in the coming years.

“Long-term potential adoption rates across categories of consumers underscore the significant opportunity for retailers and companies,” it says. 

“Even though widespread adoption of IoT technology is not here yet, the market is showing future signs of massive consumer adoption of connected devices and objects.” 

The report says businesses can capitalise on revenue opportunities in the IoT space by demonstrating value of devices to consumers.

“A key takeaway is that success in the future of IoT will stem from providing an exceptional, easy-to-use customer experience with compelling benefits, no matter the industry or type of product.

“This can be achieved with a solid strategy, powerful technology, efficient change management and a cutting-edge digital presence.”

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