Trusted retailer: Where does Germany buy its smart home devices?10. November 2020 Published by Jana Greyling
Where does Germany buy its smart home devices? The latest Bitkom study has now found that out, and the result is somewhat surprising. Because, anyone who thought the answer would have clearly been online is wrong. 56 percent of potential smart home users buy products from an electronics market and preferably at the store from a trusted retailer. The reasons for this: You do your homework, get the expert to advise you in person, and then you buy the right solution.
Bitkom writes: “37 percent of smart home users bought their applications at bricks-and-mortar stores like Saturn, Media Markt or Medimax (2018: 35 percent). One in four (26 percent) uses the online offers of these markets (2018: 16 percent). 22 percent order their smart home applications from online mail order vendors like Amazon or Otto.de (2018: 16 percent). Nevertheless, most people still get their information directly at the store before they buy: 61 percent got their information from the electrical or specialist retailer at the store. 44 percent use the Internet to get information.
Advice at the store continues to be extremely popular. Apparently, there is still a great demand for advice among potential smart home customers, even though it feels online like every other technical article in the relevant media covers the questions ‘What is a smart Home?’ or ‘What can a smart home do and how does it work? in detail. Although there are plenty of expert tips, advisors and information centers online, a personal consultation still seems to be extremely important.
It clearly makes a difference whether you’re having a new customized smart home solution installed in the new house or condo, or just need or want to upgrade individual modules and applications in the old or rented apartment. It’s therefore no surprise that that electrical markets and specialist retailers are high up in the purchase ranking list.
According to Bitkom, installers and fitters are among the winners when it comes to trust, technical expertise and advice. They score points in particular on questions about energy efficiency, lighting, security or heating. Smart lights and lamps are especially often in use (23%), but also smart radiator thermostats (15%) or smart alarm systems (18%). Divided into areas, the biggest demand overall is for energy and air conditioning applications, ahead of security or home and garden. Smart lights and lamps are especially popular (23%). 15 percent use heating-related applications. Also in the double digits are wireless sockets (13%) and smart energy consumption meters (10%). The leaders with a similarly high distribution in the other areas are alarm systems (18%), video surveillance (16%) or digitally connected shutters and awnings.
“Whether it’s robotic vacuum cleaners, smart radiators or connected security systems, people in Germany are living smarter than ever in 2020. Almost four out of 10 consumers (37 percent) use smart home applications. The smart and connected home that for so long seemed like a dream from the future has become reality. And the trend goes on: Every second person (49 percent) would ideally like to connect all the technical devices in their own four walls with each other and control them digitally. Many consumers can even imagine using smart home solutions that learn and respond to their personal preferences and habits,” writes Dr. Bernhard Rohleder, CEO of Bitkom e.V. in the preface to the study.
What’s also surprising is that it’s not just digital natives who are pushing the growth trend for smart home applications. Customers aged between 50 and 64, in particular, lead the field with 49% usage.
Among those benefiting the most from this development is the skilled trade sector: One in three users of smart home applications (32 percent) bought them all or in part directly from a skilled trade business, installer or skilled trade retailer. That’s the result of a representative survey of 1,465 people in Germany aged 16 and above, carried out on behalf of the digital association Bitkom.
Trusted retailer: Skilled trade sector benefiting enormously
In detail, 19 percent of the smart home users bought their deivices at the specialist trade from their trusted retailer store. That’s an increase of 8 percent over 2018, when it was 11. 14 percent purchased the devices directly from the skilled trade business or installer responsible for the installation (2018: 7 percent), and 4 percent bought their smart home solutions from specialist online retailers, for example, for heating and air conditioning (2018: 2 percent).
“Many new fields have developed for the skilled trade sector in connection with the smart home, for example, in the installation and maintenance of the electrics, heating and air conditioning. The area of security also offers a lot of potential for the skilled trade sector,” says Dr. Sebastian Klöß, smart home expert at Bitkom. “Skilled trade businesses are well advised to learn more about this topic and give their employees relevant training.”