Understanding the path to smart home adoption : segmenting and describing consumers across the innovation-decision process

Sanguinetti, Angela and Karlin, Beth and Ford, Rebecca (2018) Understanding the path to smart home adoption : segmenting and describing consumers across the innovation-decision process. Energy Research and Social Science, 46. pp. 274-283. ISSN 2214-6296

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    Abstract

    The burgeoning smart home market brings opportunities for home energy management systems (HEMS). Despite hundreds of smart HEM products on the market and many invested stakeholders, consumer adoption is lagging behind expectations. Past research in this space has focused on smart home technology (SHT) in general, rather than particular products with HEM potential. Conflating smart HEMS with all SHT is problematic because there is a wide range of smart home products and functions, toward which consumers may have varying attitudes. Past work has also rarely distinguished between various stages of the adoption process that lead up to smart HEMS purchase (Knowledge, Persuasion, and Decision Stages). This research used a Diffusion of Innovations framework and survey data from 709 California utility customers to assess the current market and barriers to HEM smart hardware adoption. Cluster analysis based on consumer awareness, interest, and ownership of HEMS revealed four consumer segments at different positions along the path to adoption: Unfamiliar, Unpersuaded, Persuaded, and Owners. Each group had a unique demographic and psychographic profile with implications for different sets of relevant barriers to adoption.