There’s a lot happening in the world of smart speakers: from adding new capabilities, to combating security threats from cheap lasers. All the while, Google and Amazon continue to fight for the hearts and minds of consumers.
And there’s a good reason for all the smart speaker buzz: This segment of the personal electronics industry is booming, with nearly one in three Americans owning one, and an additional 7% intending to purchase one.
According to CivicScience data, that 7% appears to show Americans underselling their true intent. Why? Since Q1 2018, ownership has jumped 60%, but intent has remained flat. Clearly, U.S. adults – at least over the last 22 months – have been purchasing smart speakers even though, at some earlier point, they claimed to not have interest.
So who’s buying smart speakers?
Looking at age, just about everyone. From the youngest members of Generation Z up to the now-AARP members of Generation X, ownership among people who are aware of smart speakers hovers in the 33-34% range. It doesn’t dip until the 55+ crowd, where ownership still sits at a healthy 26%.
The intent to purchase one, however, does decrease slightly with each ascending generation.
Household income, as it currently stands, is a major factor in ownership of smart speakers, at least as of this moment. Households making more than $100K a year own much more likely to own a smart speaker, but, much like gender differences, this may be temporary, as households making under $50K a year are more likely to intend to purchase a smart speaker in the future.
Additionally, the prices of entry level devices, such as the Google Home Mini and the Amazon Echo Dot, have fallen into “a pair of Old Navy jeans and a McDonald’s value meal” territory, indicating the economic barriers to smart speaker ownership are melting away.
Looking to the Future
To understand who might purchase a smart speaker in the future, manufacturers and retailers should look toward social media, as people who claim social media influences their purchases of personal electronics intend to purchase a smart speaker at nearly a 3-to-1 rate.
Additionally, Target fans are already 52% more likely to own one than people with an unfavorable view of the chain.
Forty-one percent of people who own a fitness tracker own a smart speaker as well. And as for people who don’t own a fitness tracker? They only own smart speakers at an 21% rate.
The data is clear: Smart speaker sales are on the rise and consumers seem to skip – or pass quickly through – the “intend to buy” phase. Maybe they don’t know they want surround sound, or maybe recent entry-level pricing gets them quickly through the deliberation phase. Regardless, all signs point to this technology becoming a staple in American homes.
And get this: People who own a dog (and no cats) are 32% more likely to buy a smart speaker in the future than cat-only owners, although pet owners in general are 30% more likely to own a smart speaker over people who don’t have any pets.