NPD: Voice Assistants, Operating Systems Look Set to Disrupt the Consumer Ecosystem

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While smartphones were once at the center of the connected technology universe, consumers are gravitating towards an integrated ecosystem with assistant at the core.

Source: The NPD Group, Evolving Ecosystem report (March 2020)

As connected tech adoption continues to increase among U.S. households, operating systems (iOS, Android) and the accompanying voice assistants are becoming increasingly important to consumers, according to data from The NPD Group’s new Evolving Ecosystem report out of the Connected Intelligence practice.

“Given that 88 percent of U.S. households claim at least one smartphone, and streaming media players are in 46 percent of Internet-connected homes, the U.S. consumer is primed to expand their adoption of connected technology platforms,” stated Eddie Hold, President, Connected Intelligence, The NPD Group.

The report, which takes a deep-dive look into the fluctuations driving consumers away from a smartphone-centric ecosystem and towards a more comprehensive voice assistant-enabled ecosystem, found that nearly 30 percent of U.S. households currently have a smart speaker device in use. Of those households, the greatest increases in connected technology adoption are coming from home automation products and use cases (+152%), smart watches (+120%), smart TVs (+60%), smart gaming consoles (+60%),streaming media players (+44%), and tablets (+26%)(a).

“As consumers become more adept at integrating their devices to enable smart home technology, they are looking to make the use of that technology as easy as possible. We see this in both the ways they are using the devices as well as in their loyalty towards a vendor’s ecosystem,” added Hold. “As a result, all aspects of the ecosystem are experiencing growth, proving that once a consumer starts using their voice assistant consistently, they are becoming far more focused on making sure all of their devices work seamlessly with it.”

NPD’s new Evolving Ecosystem report was recently released to monitor the products, services, and hardware comprising the hub of consumers’ electronics ecosystems. Data for the report was collected between January and February 2020. Beyond the adoption of devices and the preference for varying ecosystems, the report also examined the demographics of those using the voice assistant technology more frequently, finding that a broad range of consumers are jumping onto the assistant trend. Interestingly, the report did show that consumers within higher income brackets were more likely to own voice assistants which can help to drive increased technology spends.

About Connected Intelligence
Connected Intelligence answers the question of what consumers do once they purchase today’s latest technology, such as mobile devices. Our mandate is to operate in partnership with the core NPD sales data to tell the broader story of an entire market. The combination of Sales Data and Ownership Data is unique to The NPD Group and provides the tools that you need to truly understand the consumer today, and what they are willing to buy next. https://connected-intelligence.com

About The NPD Group, Inc.
NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. We have offices in 27 cities worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, travel retail, video games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup, @EddieHold.

(a) Base: voice assistant speakers; measure: percentage increase compared to base households

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Lauren M Leetun, APR
@npdtech
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