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IKEA Ups Its Smart Home Game

Neil Strother
Aug 29, 2019

Smart Home 2

Home goods retailer IKEA is upping its smart home game with a new dedicated business unit called IKEA Home smart. This is a natural step for the company as it sharpens its focus on a broad market trend that continues to gather momentum. The new IKEA business unit brings together products for smart lighting, wireless charging, and smart speakers.

Björn Block, the head of IKEA Home smart, says, “We want to continue to offer products for a better life at home for the many people going forward. In order to do so, we need to explore products and solutions beyond conventional home furnishing.” The company has offered smart home products since 2012. IKEA is now investing significantly to fast-forward its efforts to further harness this trend.

IKEA is not alone in these efforts. Other retailers like Best Buy, Home Depot, Target, and Walmart offer an array of smart home products, both in-store and online. As this blog has noted before, the category has become mainstream.

New Survey Underscores Market Momentum

A new survey from home security firm ADT also underscores the strength of the smart home market. A majority of respondents own at least one smart home device, and among this group more than 60% own between two and five connected devices. The survey also shows just how prevalent smart speakers have become, with nearly four out of five respondents (~80%) saying they prefer talking to home devices rather than using an app.

In terms of smart home brands, Amazon has a considerable lead with 71% of respondents saying they use an Alexa smart hub. Google’s Assistant is a distant second at 21%.

Motivation

Convenience is the key motivator for purchasing smart devices, with nearly 84% of respondents citing this as the main reason. Comfort and the ability to track data related to their home are other reasons for buying smart devices, with more than 43% of respondents listing these as factors. Greater home security is a key motivator for 37% of respondents when purchasing smart products.

From an energy perspective, smart devices are not at the top of the adoption heap, but are still holding their own. Smart TVs (73%) and smart speakers (non-hub, 35%) were the top two device categories owned by respondents, followed by smart thermostats (27%), smart lightbulbs (26%), and smart plugs (17%). Collectively, that’s a decent showing.

When retailers focus this much attention on the smart home, it is clear consumers are finding value. From an energy perspective, utilities and other energy-related stakeholders can move ahead with confidence in dovetailing services that fit into the smarter home, and help customers use energy more wisely and affordably. Not doing so would amount to a significant missed opportunity. For an in-depth look at the smart home trend from Navigant Research’s perspective, check out its The Smart Home Overview report.