U.S. Connected CE purchase rates in gentle decline

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
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Connected CE Purchase Rates Stable now but Show Steady Decline since 2008

  • Nearly one-half of all broadband households have a smart TV

Recent consumer research from Parks Associates reveals challenges manufacturers face as they seek to drive higher rates of purchase in the connected CE markets. ‘360 View: CE Adoption & Trends’ notes that while consumer intentions in 2017 mirror the levels of the previous two years, the long-term trend shows lower percentages of households buying CE than in the past, with purchasing rates dropping from 87% in 2008 to 74% in 2016. Low buying patterns for game consoles (12%), connected Blu-ray (5%), and DVRs (3%) contribute to the decline.

CE Device Purchase Rate Among U.S. Broadband Households in 2016 | Parks Associates

“Today, consumers are satisfied with many of their existing products, provided they are working well,” said Tricia Parks, President, CEO, and Founder, Parks Associates. “Many product categories are following predictable patterns. Consumers value their connected CE products, but there is no big purchase buzz except for personal assistants with voice, particularly the Amazon Echo. Its ‘wow factor’ is translating into true consumer excitement, interest, and adoption.”

Parks Associates finds smart speakers with personal assistants, such as the Amazon Echo/Dot/Tap and Google Home, earn the highest NPS (Net Promoter Score) of all surveyed CE devices. The excitement generated by the Amazon Echo has set off a round of competitive entries and new options.

According to Parks Associates, more broadly diffused broadband capability and saturation for flat screens and smartphones contribute to declining purchase rates for many CE categories. A lack of familiarity for innovations such as VR headsets and 4K TVs also contributes. 360 View: CE Adoption & Trends shows that broadband households now own an average of 8.1 connected CE products in their homes, a 76% growth in the average volume of devices since 2010. Many households are satisfied with what they have; manufacturers need to excite their markets with innovations.

‘360 View: CE Adoption & Trends’ examines consumer electronics purchase habits of U.S. broadband households, including devices such as smart watches, computers, streaming devices, gaming consoles, VR headsets, 4K TVs, wearable cameras, and other emerging devices. The research also analyzes the consumer purchase process for CE devices. Additional research from the report shows:

  • Nearly one-half of all broadband households have a smart TV.
  • Ownership of game consoles declined from 58% in 2016 to 49% in 2017.
  • 87% of virtual reality headset purchasers are first-time buyers.
  • 70% of streaming media player owners report using their devices 1-3 times or more per week.