In order to sustain demand for smart-home services and products, technology, media and entertainment, and telecommunications (TMT) businesses need to address growing consumer concerns relating to digital fatigue and data privacy. This is according to a new EY study, Decoding the digital home, which evaluates consumer attitudes to a range of TMT services within the home across four markets – France, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.
The study found that, while 54% of consumers say the internet remains integral to their social lives, 45% actively seek time away from their smartphone and other internet-enabled devices. Notably, this rises to 53% among consumers aged 25-34, indicating that younger consumers may not necessarily find the digital world easier to navigate.
Securing consumer trust is mission critical
While current take-up rates of smart-home products and services look favorable – with smart utilities seeing the best five-year adoption outlook – a surge in connectivity also threatens to undermine consumer trust. Most respondents (72% across all markets) said that they are cautious about disclosing personal data, while 41% in both the US and UK don’t believe their data can ever be fully secure.
If left unchecked, concerns around trust and privacy could frustrate the consumer Internet of Things growth story. In response, businesses need to go beyond boilerplate statements of compliance, placing data protection at the very heart of customer interactions and the service-innovation agenda.
Complex customer journey risks alienating consumers
The study further unearths a growing sense of confusion among consumers over an increasingly complex landscape of broadband bundles. Many consumers indicate that they find it hard to choose services or packages that suit their needs, with 48% indicating that introductory offers make it difficult to understand which internet packages represent the best value.
And while nearly a third (32%) of respondents are progressing to multiple-device streaming behaviors, almost a quarter of consumers in the US and UK (24% in both markets) struggle to find their favorite content in what they perceive to be a crowded service ecosystem.
Simplify offerings to compete
To compete in this increasingly crowded marketplace, businesses need to help customers regain confidence by offering more transparent pricing plans, simpler packages and the information they need to understand the trade-offs between cost and value. Ensuring that new propositions deliver high levels of convenience should be top of mind for content providers.
Overall, the study highlights that households in all markets are progressing at different speeds toward their digital future, and consumers’ needs are becoming increasingly nuanced and divergent. Service providers must look to reflect these widely varying attitudes in simpler, more targeted offerings that prioritize consumer trust.
The views reflected in this article are the views of the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the global EY organization or its member firms.