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Research: 26% US broadband homes purchase CE device between Feb-May

February 1, 2021

A whitepaper from Parks Associates finds 26 per cent of US broadband households reported purchasing a consumer electronics (CE) device between February and May 2020, at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. The whitepaper Supporting Today’s Connected Consumer, developed in cooperation with Sutherland, a global Digital Transformation company, addresses the expanding opportunities for support providers to roll out new models of services, enhancing the customer experience and minimizing costs.

“At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, US households bought connected devices for entertainment, work-at-home, and remote learning use cases,” said Patrice Samuels, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “Broadband and traditional service providers have opportunities to generate additional revenues by bundling technical support services for emerging connected devices with existing services.”

This influx of new connected devices is changing the technical composition of the home and driving the need for data-driven support services. A higher percentage of smart home device owners have reported experiencing problems with their devices in 2020 than in 2018, increasing from 14 per cent in Q1 2018 to 34 per cent in Q2 2020. Several factors are driving this increase, including more users, immature technologies, and complex use cases.

“Twenty-two percent of consumers who recently purchased and set up a CE device reported experiencing difficulty with the setup process,” Samuels said.  “These poor product experiences drive up long-term support costs for brands, but device-generated data, especially when analyzed within the context of a consumer’s technical environment or ecosystem, can yield insights that could reduce or even eliminate these challenges. We will continue to see companies pursue comprehensive support measures for connected devices in order to ensure superior user experiences.”

“Consumers are increasingly looking for a product experience that’s very simple, with digital and self-help options,” said Bharat Chadda, SVP and Global Head, Technology Vertical, Sutherland. “The right customer experience is necessary to encourage device usability and adoption. At Sutherland, our mission is to deliver exceptionally engineered experiences, creating a seamless, technology-enabled, omnichannel engagement today that continues to delight tomorrow.”

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