With a strong
value proposition, security cameras comprise the largest share of smart home
retail dollar and unit sales
Port Washington, NY, August 10, 2020 – According to the Home Automation Ownership & Usage Report from NPD’s Connected Intelligence, smart home device penetration has surpassed one out of every three U.S. consumers, with 35% of consumers stating they own at least one type of smart device across a portfolio of products. However, the report found that ownership rates vary greatly by the type of smart device. Security cameras currently lead the pack as the most popular smart home device, owned by 15% of consumers.
Likewise, smart doorbells – also used for monitoring and security purposes – are driving the highest absolute unit volume changes year-over-year, an increase of 1.82 million units and 64% growth. Comparatively, categories outside of security are attracting less attention from consumers. For example, devices such as smart light bulbs and power – products that consumers tend to purchase as items that are convenient and “nice to have” – have fallen to low single-digit unit growth.
The Income Factor
There continues to be a sizable income divide between consumers who own smart home devices and those who do not. In fact, ownership in the highest income households is more than double ownership in households with lower incomes. In addition, households earning $150,000+ are more likely to own a broader portfolio of device types. However, these higher-income households make up just 15% of the U.S. representative population.
Yet, the report indicates that cost of smart home devices is not necessarily the only – or even the primary – factor driving purchase decisions, as witnessed by the fact that consumers of all income levels gravitate more to security cameras when starting their smart home collections.
“The value proposition of security cameras – providing safety for both family and home – really resonates with consumers,” said Jill Aldort, Director and Analyst for Home Automation & Mobile Accessories, The NPD Group. “Even as the smart home market continues to develop and other products become more readily available, consumers today are still most likely to take that first step into the smart home market with the purchase of a security camera.”
 Categories monitored in NPD's Home Automation Ownership & Usage Report include security cameras, baby monitors, smart lighting, system controllers, smart locks, smart doorbells, smart garage door openers, smart power, smart sensors, item trackers, and home automation kits.
 Source: The NPD Group, Inc./U.S. Retail Tracking Service, 2019 vs. 2018
This report draws data from the bi-annual Home Automation Ownership & Usage survey, last fielded from January 6 through January 23, 2020 and reaching 5,044 U.S. consumers age 18 and older across a broad range of geographic regions and demographic profiles. These consumers include both owners and non-owners of smart home devices. This report also draws from The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service.