Consumers show growing interest in voice-controlled products

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Despite a challenging business environment, the global Technical Consumer Goods (TCG) industry has inched back to £573.6 billion (excluding North America), which is a 2% value growth in the full year.

Smart product segments performed better than average, resulting in a revival of 24% to £20.1bn across EU7 markets, which covers sales in Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium.

Nevin Francis GfK’s expert on technical consumer goods, said that alert detectors, robot vacuum cleaners and cooking ranges enjoyed high demand driven by the ‘stay at home’ focus.

GfK reported that sales of voice-controlled products saw explosive growth of almost 61% in 2020, making them one of the best sellers of the year.

“Overall TCG delivered a V-shaped recovery, with the developed world experiencing a much stronger revival as consumers invested in their homes,” Mr Franics said.

“The pandemic is certainly fast-tracking digitisation in our homes. The focus on home as headquarters is driving demand for tech goods. Restricted to working and studying at home and prevented from travel and outdoor leisure, consumers turned to indoor options. This delivered good growth of 19% for smart entertainment and office products across EU7 markets.”

According to GfK’s new Market Intelligence Smart Home Report covering total smart home and individual sector views, in 2020, Germany and Great Britain were the biggest markets by value for smart products.

The virtual speaker is emerging as a smart home success story as voice control is becoming the way consumers interact with their smart products. Sales of voice-controlled products saw explosive growth of almost 61% in 2020, making them one of the best sellers of the year.

Mr Francis said: “The race to be the smart home ecosystem of choice is also on at full speed. Tech giants Google, Apple and Amazon want to be a major part of the consumer’s future smart home, but no manufacturer is gambling on the winner. Smart tech products that offer multiple ecosystems continue to be most attractive to tech-savvy consumers.

“As more consumers buy smart products and become convinced by their tangible benefits and ease of use, smart will cross the chasm to mass market appeal. However, what shouldn’t be forgotten is the need for transparency about privacy policies and interoperability of different brands.

“If manufacturers manage to bring all this together this will make ‘smart’ products relevant for the end-consumer whose outlook is focused on enjoying the benefits of intelligent, personalized smart tech in their lives.”


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