Most consumers face challenges using new types of high tech devices: Accenture

Accenture has rolled out a new report titled ‘Engaging the Digital Consumer in the New Connected World’ which reveals that most consumers experience challenges using several new types of smart high tech devices.

Overall, 83% report various problems when they use new device types such as wearable fitness monitors, smart watches, smart home thermostats, in-vehicle entertainment systems, home connected surveillance cameras and security systems, and wearable health products.

The biggest challenges consumers face are that the smart devices are “too complicated to use” (21%), “set-up did not proceed properly” (19%), and “did not work as advertised” (19%).

“For these new connected device categories, high tech companies need to go back to the drawing board and rethink their product development approaches to focus on the entire customer experience. They should make fundamental strategic changes that no longer focus on product feature differentiation but rather holistic, digital experience differentiation,” said Sami Luukkonen, managing director, Accenture’s Electronics and High Tech group.

Across all age groups and geographic regions surveyed, 33% cited “ease of use” as the most important criteria when deciding which of these products to buy. 29% said “product features and functionalities” are important. And 22% said the same about buying “a trusted brand.”

While respondents revealed relatively modest purchase intentions over the next 12 months across the newer high tech device categories, their purchase plans are much more robust over a five-year period.

Over the next 12 months, for example, 12% of consumers plan to buy a wearable fitness monitor. However, within five years 40% plan to do so. Within one year, 12% intend to buy a smartwatch, whereas 41% plan to do so within five years.

Other categories with strong purchase interest over the next five years include home connected surveillance cameras and security systems at 41%, smart thermostats at 39%, connected car entertainment systems at 37%, and home 3D printers and wearable heads-up display glasses at 35% each.

“As consumers’ purchasing plans decline for mature device categories, high tech companies need to replace lost revenues with sales in new categories such as wearable health and fitness monitors,” added Luukkonen.

Accenture views the Internet of Things as the convergence of intelligent products and services that communicate with each other, and with people, over global networks.

The survey was conducted online in October and November 2014, with 24,000 consumers in 24 countries—Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

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