MarTechSeries: Smart Devices Try To Avoid A Festive Fail This Christmas

By: Lauren Smartt

20th December 2019

“Alexa, play ‘Feliz Navidad’”

There’s going to be a lot of domestic smart tech unwrapped amid the tinsel this Christmas, according to our latest consumer research. 

We recently asked 1000 smart device users across the UK how they plan to use their own versions of Santa’s little helper this holiday season.

Smart devices, like speakers, doorbells, cameras, plugs, and displays, are becoming commonplace in the modern home — with 56% of respondents planning on purchasing a smart device for either themselves or a loved one — but consumers are starting  to expect more from them, especially at Christmas. 

32% want to use their device for festive playlists, 25% want help shopping sale bargains, 21% want their device to recommend films and TV, 21% also want help with Christmas dinner preparation, and 17% want their children to be able to communicate with Santa. 

8% wanted it to provide support during a family disagreement.

Despite consumers wanting festive fun from their smart devices, consumers still struggle to use the full functionality of voice assistants. The vast majority  of respondents said they use their voice assistants as a timer (44%), a speaker (54%) or to provide news and sports updates (43%). 

Only 9% have used a smart device to order a product, while 13% have ordered a takeaway.

Many said they’ve had issues with the device understanding what they want, with 69% admitting they’d have to repeat themselves when asking a question or requesting an action. 

Cheil UK CEO, Peter Zillig, commented on the research, saying there is still more brands can be doing to reach consumers on smart devices in the home.

“The results have shown that consumers are clearly regularly using their devices once they are in their home, but are not using them to their full potential. We believe this is an untapped opportunity for brands that need to be explored and it’s up to brands to help communicate the benefit of using devices to take advantage of other functionality. Brands are still in the early stages of exploring smart devices as a tool for communicating with consumers and very little of the marketing budget is currently allocated to explore this further. ”

People don’t just want functionality from their voice assistants, they want fun and Christmas is the perfect time for brands to embed themselves in the hearts and homes of consumers by being present during the holidays. During Christmas, consumers need technology that makes festivities go smoothly and not add unnecessary frustrations. We need Alexa to be the cool Aunt, not the infuriating ‘know-all’ uncle! 

You can read the full report here on MarTechSeries