Tech

Smart device buyers don’t keep their devices connected to the internet

In short: Smart home appliances like microwaves and Alexa-powered ovens that can stream their content in real time have been finding their way into kitchens for years, but not everyone is taking full advantage of their connected features.

An LG Electronics spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that less than half of sold smart devices remain connected to the Internet for a long time. A spokesperson for Whirlpool said more than half of their connected devices are online, but declined to elaborate.

Smart home appliances with whimsical bells and whistles can help hook shoppers during the purchase, but that’s not all. Internet-connected devices can (and usually do) transmit data and other usage information directly to the manufacturer, helping them better understand how owners use their products.

These direct relationships can also help you sell replacement parts or subscription services. For example, owners of a Whirlpool Smart Oven can sync it with a Yummly Pro recipe. subscription service to improve integration.

Building long-term relationships with owners is now more important than ever, given the slowdown in sales, the volatility of the economy and the rising cost of materials and energy.

Various reasons likely contribute to consumers not taking full advantage of connected devices.

Some devices may connect to Wi-Fi during initial setup, but changing your password or router may result in disconnection. Others may be installed in an area with poor or no Wi-Fi coverage. Some customers may simply not use the features that the connected device can afford.

Privacy advocates have their reasons for not connecting appliances to the Internet, and purists probably don’t want to worry about the possibility of a botched over-the-air update ruining their washing machine or refrigerator.

Despite low usage, the connected features of home appliances are probably not going anywhere. LG ThinQ US director Henry Kim said smart home features can now be found in 80-90% of all devices they sell, with the exception of entry-level budget models.


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