Most new technologies go through the same adoption pattern. A flashy new feature captures the attention of most, but few are brave enough to give it a try. In time, and as the technology evolves and improves, more consumers will include it in their daily lives. Once the technology is widely accepted as beneficial and a good chunk of the population has positive interactions with it, it becomes more mainstream and adoption rates increase even more.
Smart home technology is in the midst of this cycle. Innovations like the Nest Thermostat or video doorbells have slowly been adopted, and are now included in new home construction and are common additions during a home upgrade.
Smart home device market grows
According to IHS Markit, 47 million smart home devices were delivered to consumers around the globe in 2015. By 2016, that number grew to 80 million, CNBC reported. IHS Market predicts this trend will continue growing about 60 percent annually until 2020, when an estimated 477 million devices will be delivered to homes worldwide.
"80 million smart home devices were delivered to consumers around the globe in 2016."
Though 2016 was clearly an important year for the smart home technology market, many industry experts expect this industry to take off in 2017, according to CNBC. Smart home technology has gone through growing pains like security concerns and lack of consumer education. Now, companies have boosted their ability to deter hackers and have made an effort to teach consumers both how to use these technologies and the benefits they can gain from implementing them in their own homes.
New home construction often includes these devices, and homebuyers have come to expect that these homes are already equipped with at least a few smart features, Maryland real estate agent Theresa Taylor told CNBC. While existing homes may not include them at the point of sale, most buyers know they can easily integrate a smart home device into their new purchase.
First impressions play a critical role
Though the smart home technology market is becoming more widely known, in truth it is still in its infancy. When deciding on home improvements or shopping for a new house, smart home features rarely make the top of a consumer's list of needs. As such, a first smart home tech purchase may be considered a trial run of sorts for the buyer. Consumers may be skeptical of these purchases, and will carefully analyze them to make sure the products are valuable to them.
Since buyers are approaching smart home purchases with scrutiny, manufacturers need to make every effort possible to give a good first impression. This begins with the arrival of the technology, but it continues through installation and regular use.
The very first impression is when the consumer opens the box. The device and its components must be packaged well so as to ensure they won't be damaged during transport. This includes block and brace packaging to keep every component secure, but it also includes surface protection.
Some smart home technologies include a user interface like a touch screen, as in the case of the Nest thermostat. Others might include a camera or sensor, like a video doorbell. These surfaces cannot be scratched or scuffed in any way. Not only will imperfections create an unprofessional first impression, but could also affect the functionality of the devices.
As more consumers adopt smart home technologies, manufacturers will continue to improve their products and cater to the needs of the masses. However, no product upgrade should exclude a careful evaluation of the protective measures taken during delivery. Companies working to improve their product offerings must ensure their protective packaging is doing its job to give consumers an excellent first impression. By working with the packaging professionals at Pregis, this is easily done. These experts can identify weaknesses in your current strategy and offer helpful solutions to ensure all of your smart home technology devices arrive in perfect condition at the store or your customer's doorstep.