Smart home products and systems are making huge gains in the gift and homewares market.
The smart home is not just something that might happen in the future anymore, it’s here, now, and it is here to stay. We are all about connection and being connected 24/7.
While in markets like the US smart technology is much more advanced than in Australia―statistics show 25 per cent of US home owners live in a smart home which will more than double in five years’ time― we finally have come to terms with the smart home concept and that it is not as scary as people think. In fact, it will only make people’s life easier!
So why should retailers and wholesalers pay attention to this growing category? We look at some smart trends making their way down under.
DIY is popular again
Smart technology is enabling consumers to become master chefs and bartenders in their own homes.
There are drink makers that automate the creation of cocktails or multi-cookers that take the consumer through creating a meal automatically, step-by-step. Or how about those beer brewer kits that are flying off the shelves? These smart products are practical and still add some fun to the kitchen!
Grow your own
In line with the wellbeing trend, growing your own fruit and vegetables is not only outdoors but indoors as well! App-controlled smart microgardens, for example, now allow consumers to produce their own food using less water and electricity, so besides a healthy lifestyle and conserving resources.
Hydration is another trend that incorporates smart technology with bottles telling us our water intake, how much more to go before we reach our daily limit.
There is an app for everything
Most of us have a smart phone and if we could we would use it 24/7. We use it to buy products search the web and read information but most of all to stay connected.
These days, with the help of smart technology, we can use an app to turn on the coffee machine so that all important caffeine hit is waiting for us, we can turn on the lights before we get home or keep an eye on our home with an advanced security system, all controlled via an app!
Smart phones are also used during shopping. For example, Zara used AR to create attention-grabbing window displays that came to life when shoppers pointed their smartphone loaded with the Zara app at the windows. They could also click through to shop the latest collection.
Dulux’s ‘ColourView’ app feature shows users what certain Dulux paint colours would look like in their home. Users can browse 4,000 different paint colours and get an accurate projection of what the finished product would look like.
Baby, baby, baby
We talk a lot about the smart home and the smart kitchen but what about the smart nursery? Devices such as baby monitors and trackers now use AI and apps are part of a baby tech boom taking the world by storm. Besides keeping an eye on your little one, they sing lullabies, change lights and even alert parents when it’s time for a diaper change!
There are also ‘smart nannies’ that help new parents when their kids need to eat or sleep, while smart thermometers make sure the room temperature is just right or needs to be adjusted.
Talk to me
First there was Siri, then we had Alexa, a voice enabled device for the home that controls anything from the lights, to thermostats and music, and even security.
Indeed, creating your own security system with the help of Alexa or Google Home makes it easier to keep an eye on your home as it will combine alarms, lighting and cameras or will help you with something simple like locking the doors―all with the sound of your voice!
Get a piece of the market
Smart home technology is an exciting new retail buying category at AGHA Sydney Gift Fair, 23-26 February 2019.