Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Over 20% of U.S. broadband households have a technical support subscription

New research examines Amazon’s impact on tech support services and subscriptions

New research by Parks Associates reveals more than one-fifth of U.S. broadband households have a technical support subscription. According to 360 View: Supporting the Connected Consumers, Best Buy is currently the leading provider of technical support subscriptions for many connected devices, including desktops, laptops, and tablets. However, the firm notes that Amazon’s recent decision to offer an in-home tech support service is a notable threat to Best Buy’s market dominance.

“The market for support subscriptions is fragmented, with no single player having more than one-third of support subscribers for any device,” said Patrice Samuels, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “Best Buy has its strongest lead in the support subscription market for flat-panel TVs, with 29% of this market. Among laptop owners with a support subscription, 22% these subscribers chose Best Buy over similar services offered by Dell, HP, AT&T, Norton, and Verizon.”

Support Subscription and Extended Warranty Adoption | Parks Associates

Parks Associates says that Amazon’s entrance will provide a range of premium smart home device support services to the company’s large customer base. The firm also notes that Amazon’s decision is likely influencing the increasing incidence of retailer-provided support and the growing use of one-time fees for support payments, since Amazon charges one-time fees for its services. Two new support providers to the smart home market – Amazon Home Services and HelloTech – both offer one-time transaction fees as payment for services rendered.

“With Amazon entering the premium technical support space, competing providers must determine how they can establish a competitive advantage,” Samuels said. “Brands need to continually research their consumers to stay abreast of the challenges encountered and how they can best address consumer support needs.”

360 View: Supporting the Connected Consumers highlights the adoption of traditional and emerging connected devices. It provides an overview of customer-reported problems with their connected devices and identifies the leading issues faced by consumers when using various connected devices. It also examines the consumer appetite for self-help, professional, and premium support services, as well as consumer adoption of extended warranty services. Additional research from the deliverable shows:

  • A reliance on retailers for professional smart home support has increased 50% since 2015.
  • More consumers contact the device manufacturer for help with resolving technical problems than any other support provider type.
  • The percentage of consumers who report a preference for setting up their devices themselves increased from 33% in 2015 to 49% in 2017.

For more information about Parks Associates’ research, contact sales@parksassociates.com. To schedule an interview with an analyst or to request specific data, contact Julia Homier at julia.homier@parksassociates.com, 972-996-0214.

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates, a woman-owned and woman-led internationally recognized market research and consulting company, specializes in emerging technology solutions serving the consumer and small to medium business (SMB) markets. Celebrating its 35th year in 2021, Parks Associates is a partner to companies navigating the changing consumer technology landscapes through data-driven market insights, extensive consumer and industry intelligence, custom marketing services, and executive networking experiences and conferences.

The company's expertise includes home automation, control systems and security, digital media and platforms, entertainment and gaming, home networks, internet and video services, connected health and independent living solutions, mobile applications and services, support services, consumer electronics, and energy management solutions.

Each year, Parks Associates hosts industry webcasts, the CONNECTIONS™ Conference Series, Connected Health Summit, Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer, and Future of Video: OTT, Pay TV, and Digital Media. http://www.parksassociates.com

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