KEY POINTS

  • Consumers are finally starting to adopt smart home devices. After a slow start, nearly 60% of consumers now own at least one smart home device, according to survey data from Audio Analytic. And Business Insider Intelligence projects that there will be more than 1 billion smart home devices installed in the US by 2023.
  • This has presented an opportunity for e-commerce companies to enter the smart home and encourage purchasing through the devices. Smart home devices' presence around the home and constant connectivity could make it easy for consumers to either make impulse purchases or instantly reorder a product that runs out.
  • The smart speaker has attracted the lion's share of attention for this use case — but consumers aren’t using the device to buy products very often. The vast majority of consumers, 87%, know that they’re able to buy goods using the smart speaker, according to exclusive data from Business Insider Intelligence’s Smart Speaker survey. Just 3%, though, say that purchasing is one of the top three activities they perform on the device. This means that, in order to take advantage of the omnipresence of the smart home, companies should start exploring ways to leverage devices apart from the smart speaker.
  • One of the clearest opportunities outside of the smart speaker is home goods and grocery replenishment through large appliances. Smart devices in the home — especially appliances — can take advantage of built-in sensors to either tell consumers when they need to buy more of a product, or make that purchase themselves. This will create an opportunity for appliance manufacturers, e-commerce vendors, and product suppliers to ink supply agreements to meet consumers' needs.
  • Two smart home appliances especially well suited to e-commerce integration are the smart dishwasher and smart laundry machine. These appliances can estimate supply levels based on use, and some can automatically order supplies when they're running low.
  • Securing e-commerce integrations with smart appliances will require forming relationships with appliance manufacturers. For example, Whirlpool has partnered with Amazon to allow owners of its laundry machines to sync the mobile app they use to control the smart appliance with their Amazon account. Beyond this relationship, [...]