The summer of smart (homes)
Milk & Honey PR
2020 has seen more people than ever before working from home, with offices closed and many employees unable to return to their place of work. In June this hit a high, with stats from the Office of National Statistics showing that 49% reported working from home at some point over the previous seven days.
This was then compounded with children learning remotely, and for much of the summer, pubs and restaurants shut. We’ve all spent more time at home than ever this year. And with all this time inside, our focus on making our homes comfortable and secure has increased.
According to a study by Aviva and reported by DIYweek.net, nearly every adult in the UK (85%) carried out some kind of home improvement activity during lockdown. Decluttering was the most popular activity with over half (56%) of people reporting that they had a clear out. Gardening came second, with 52% of residents saying they’d carried out this activity.
Unsurprisingly then, there has been a massive rise in the popularity of smart home tech. As we strive to make life ever more efficient, home automation controllers have become 56% more popular.
PriceSpy data has also shown that smart doorbells are gaining ground, with 42% more interest shown in these devices since lockdown began. Vital for checking when your Just Eat driver has safely deposited your takeaway on the mat, or if your latest game has been delivered.
Bucking the usual trend of popularity causing price hikes, now could be the time to buy, with the average price of a home automation controller – such as the Amazon Echo, or Sonos One speaker – down around 15%.
Comparisons of some of the most popular home automation controllers
- Amazon Echo (3rd Generation)
Popularity increase: +70%
Price decrease: 28%
- Sonos One (Gen 2)
Popularity increase: +270%
Price decrease: 0%
- Google Home Mini
Popularity increase: -70%
Price decrease: 21%
- Sonos Play:1
Popularity increase: -62%
Price decrease: 13%
- Apple Home Pod
Popularity increase: +105%
Price decrease: 78%
If you’re keen to join this growing trend and want to be able to ask Echo to switch your lights on, or Sonos to play your favourite song, just remember to shop around and keep an eye on when prices are at their best. Looking at slightly older models can be a good way of getting the best value, but if you’re determined to go for the latest version, take a look at PriceSpy’s history and predictions tools to buy at the right time
Finally educate yourself on what you're looking for. Look at trusted review sites to get a clear idea of what you are getting from your money. Check the make and model of the products you are purchasing and read reviews.
“Alexa. Make me a cup of tea. Thank you.”