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-founded and certified business, is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates provides business intelligence and research services through its proprietary methodologies developed over decades, including quarterly surveys of 10,000 internet households.

The company's expertise crosses many industries: home security and smart home, streaming video, broadband and pay-TV services, digital media and platforms, gaming, Wi-Fi and home networks, connected health, support, consumer electronics, home control systems, energy management, and tech solutions for the multi-dwelling (MDU), small-to-medium business (SMB), and commercial building markets.

Each year, Parks Associates brings thousands of leaders together for its webinars and annual events. The firm hosts the annual executive research and strategy conferences CONNECTIONS™, Connected Health Summit, Smart Energy Summit, Smart Spaces, and Future of Video. https://www.parksassociates.com

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