Greg Kruczek, Director of New Ventures, Asurion, provided insight on several key industry trends ahead of Parks Associates’ 21st-annual CONNECTIONS™ Conference, which will be held May 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport:
What is the most important next step to engage consumers in smart home solutions, connected entertainment services, and/or value-added services like tech support and connected health?
The connected home industry is arguably gadget driven with a wide array of devices. The large number and variety of gadgets in the marketplace can be very overwhelming for the average consumer. To help boost engagement, advocacy is needed to help consumers weed through the confusion of what products work well together, and how to quickly and easily put multiple components together to create the holistic solution they want.
How is your company engaging consumers through new technology solutions?
Asurion partners with leading wireless carriers, retailers and pay-TV providers to help boost consumer engagement and adoption in the connected marketplace with our Soluto premier tech help service. Soluto provides personalized U.S.-based assistance to help people learn, grow and get the most from their connected technology, regardless of the operating system or brand.
Asurion’s Soluto experience makes it easy for customers to enjoy all the features of the connected devices they purchase, and reduces the amount of time they spend dealing with the issues and troubles that can occur when using them every day. Whether consumers are connecting a home security camera to their mobile phone, a smart thermostat to a tablet, or simply want to know how to reset their Internet or device security settings, they can access our tech experts within seconds.
What changes do you expect to take place in the next year in the smart home and connected consumer markets?
I expect to see a continued increase in devices, manufacturers, and solution providers. This will drive the appearance of more consumer choice, but ultimately it leads to greater consumer confusion.
I think the marketplace will be over-populated for some time until clear-cut solutions emerge that rise above the competition through a combination of ease-of-use and the right price point.
What is the biggest driver for the connected consumer market?
The market is largely under-penetrated – it’s a compelling case for companies to make further investments in the connected consumer market. Yet consumer adoption rates are stagnant within the connected home industry. And there’s not currently one single, clear driver to boost penetration.
However, we do know what some of the barriers are, so helping to remove complexities for consumers during setup and ongoing use will be helpful in driving the market. Consumers just want to be able take home their connected products, quickly set them up, and simply have them work.
What is the greatest challenge for the connected home industry in the next year?
The whole industry is struggling with securing share-of-wallet. There’s been lots of industry talk of a subscription model being the ‘smoking gun.’ But how much can the consumer bear? There’s only so much subscription space in the consumer wallet. The key to carving out a priority place among consumers is finding the right price and compelling use cases that move connected home subscription services from the “nice-to-have” category to the “need-to-have” category.
Kruczek will speak on the session “Supporting End-to-End Consumer Experience” on Wednesday, May 24 at 11:15 a.m. Asurion is sponsoring the session, which features speakers from Pepper IoT and The Home Depot.
For more information on CONNECTIONS™, visit www.connectionsus.com or register by clicking here.
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