Parks: 26% of U.S. Broadband Households Bought Consumer Electronics Device At Beginning of Pandemic

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been a boon for consumer electronics. New data from Parks Associates says 26% of U.S. broadband households purchased a consumer electronics device between February and May 2020, at the outset of the pandemic.

“U.S. households bought connected devices for entertainment, work-at-home, and remote learning use cases,” senior analyst Patrice Samuels said in a statement. “Broadband and traditional service providers have opportunities to generate additional revenue by bundling technical support services for emerging connected devices with existing services.”

Parks said the influx of new connected devices is changing the technical composition of the home and driving the need for data-driven support services. A higher percentage of smart home device owners have reported experiencing problems with their devices in 2020 than in 2018, increasing from 14% in Q1 2018 to 34% in Q2 2020. Several factors are driving this increase, including more users, immature technologies, and complex use cases.

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“Twenty-two percent of consumers who recently purchased and set up a CE device reported experiencing difficulty with the setup process,” Samuels said.  “These poor product experiences drive up long-term support costs for brands, but device-generated data, especially when analyzed within the context of a consumer’s technical environment or ecosystem, can yield insights that could reduce or even eliminate these challenges. We will continue to see companies pursue comprehensive support measures for connected devices in order to ensure superior user experiences.”

Bharat Chadda, SVP and global head of technology vertical at Sutherland, said consumers are increasingly looking for a simple product experience with digital and self-help options.

“The right customer experience is necessary to encourage device usability and adoption,” Chadda said.

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