Consumers are concerned about the health and safety of children, loved ones, and their homes due to Covid-19. Although vaccine rollouts are progressing, uncertainty still surrounds in-school instruction for students and timing for workers returning to their place of employment. Parks Associates research reveals that 61 percent of broadband households are highly concerned about the health and safety of their children and 35 percent of households are very concerned about the health and safety of an aging loved one who lives alone or with a caregiver. Even as schools and employment locations reopen, many consumers will remain cautious and remain socially distanced or at least anxious until they feel more secure.
Those with high health and safety concerns are more likely to own smart home devices as 84 percent of households that are very concerned about the safety and security of their rental or vacation home own a smart home device. Additionally, 61 percent of households very concerned about the health and safety of their children own a smart home device. Covid-19 has amplified concerns around the safety and security of property and family members, driving consumers to seek solutions for these heightened needs. This is especially true for caregivers and loved ones, as Covid-19 has cast nursing homes as infectious disease hotspots. Among broadband households highly concerned about the safety of a loved one living alone or with a caregiver, 67 percent plan on purchasing a smart home device in 2021. Smart home players have an opportunity to serve elderly citizens and their caregivers by reframing their messaging and developing features for this customer segment.
The global pandemic has introduced new challenges to seniors and caregivers both as more than one-third of broadband households concerned about the safety of an aging loved one are very interested in a product with a panic button and automatic detection of emergencies. However, challenges are resulting in new awareness and adoption of connected solutions among seniors and caregivers. Smart home systems or products that can monitor loved ones and provide peace of mind can help mitigate the strain on both parties during Covid-19 and beyond.
As of 2019, as per the U.S. Census Bureau, some 53 million Americans were over the age of 65. The vast majority of them (84 percent) find it very important (rating 6 or 7 on a 7-point scale) to live independently in their own home as long as possible. The physical and cognitive effects of aging and chronic medical conditions present challenges for those desiring to live independently, as well as for their caregivers who worry about keeping them safe, comfortable, and socially connected. With the aging demographics of the U.S. population enlarging the senior market, a growing number of companies are offering assistive technology that can improve seniors’ safety and wellness in their own homes and enhance communication with loved ones. Many of these solutions are applying various AI applications to empower and care for aging adults.
The highest concern among all broadband households with children during Covid-19 is the health and safety of their children. Top of the heap is avoiding large crowds, something most Americans have not avoided in the past. Many schools have crowded classrooms with limited ability to social distance, and child-to-child interaction on-campus is likely an inevitability. Parks Associates research shows that 29 percent of broadband households very concerned about the health and safety of their children during Covid-19 own a smart video doorbell. Though children and parents are spending more time at home during Covid-19, children may often be left unsupervised as parents work from home.
The percentage of households with security systems having professional monitoring has remained steady since 2019. Security dealers and professionally monitoring service providers have faced various challenges during Covid-19 such as increased time at home, which reduces the need for security monitoring, social distancing limits professional installs, and less travel resulting in less need for remote monitoring. These findings indicate that consumers are making long-term lifestyle changes in response to the Covid-19 crisis. Understanding the mindset of consumers, their concerns and needs, both in the short term and long term, is critical. Companies that address the growing health and safety needs of consumers are being rewarded, taking share from those that are slower to adapt to this dramatic shift in the market.
If you would like to learn more about how consumers are making long-term lifestyle changes in response to the Covid-19 crisis, please visit www.parksassociates.com.