Smart home devices come in many varieties these days, from smart kitchen appliances to smart entertainment devices. Competition is fierce, and big tech companies and small startups alike are racing to see who can develop the next market-dominating hit.In the tech world, there are always clear winners and losers. There are breakout, novel products capable of redefining an industry and landing on the majority’s “must-have” list, and there are decent concepts that never make it past the first batch.
So what is it that separates the winners from the losers in the realm of smart home device adoption?
The Mobile App Factor
The answer may lie in having an expertly designed mobile app to pair with your smart home device. The idea is to have a smartphone-based app capable of controlling the device, giving users an intuitive and reliable platform for making the best use of their new product.
There are several reasons why this is such a critical deciding factor:
- First impressions.
When considering purchasing a new device, or when unpacking it for the first time, users will immediately download the app associated with. This app will often form their first impressions of not only the device, but the brand behind it. If the app is poorly designed or hard to use, they may end up with a worse experience, while a well-designed app could win their business for life.
- Device familiarity.
Smart home devices are new, and often seem foreign to first-time users. Smartphones, on the other hand, are everywhere, and both comfortable and familiar to most users. Giving them a smartphone app is a way to make your device more immediately accessible.
- Intuitiveness and features.
If you can design a mobile app that is simple and intuitive, your users will be able to discover and take advantage of more features. Accordingly, they may get more use out of your app and be more likely to use it the way you intend.
- A desire to return.
If your app is user-friendly and sticky, rewarding users whenever they log in, your users will be more likely to take advantage of it. They’ll get more satisfaction by using the app, and will keep returning to it.
- Reviews and popularity.
If users are happy with your app, they’ll be inclined to leave a positive rating and review on whatever app store they frequent. Over time, collecting good reviews will make your app rank higher in app store search engines, and the new prospective users researching you will have a better first impression of your company when they see all the positive feedback.
Most of the best-known smart home devices, such as Nest’s thermostat and Vivint’s SmartHome, have an app that succeeds in these key dimensions. Accordingly, they see higher user retention, faster customer acquisition, and a route to further visibility.
Along with a mobile app, there are other factors that may indicate a smart home device’s success:
- Tech enthusiasts are always on the lookout for the next great app or device. If you can offer the market something that no one else can, your chances of success will greatly improve.
- Home automation systems range from $60 to over $1,000. If you can create a device that’s less expensive than your competitors’ (but just as functional), you might be able to steal the market share more easily.
- Users concerned with privacy will also consider how secure and private your app is. If you can offer greater anonymity and protection than your competitors can, it could give you the edge.
If you’re wondering what the next breakout smart home device might be, and you don’t have time to do a more thorough review, your best indicator is likely going to be the design and accessibility of the device’s mobile app. And if you’re the one developing a new smart home product, you better be sure your mobile app has the power and draw to be competitive in the market.