The connected future is here, but consumers haven’t fully embraced the connected world.

They still have questions, like, If my connected fridge stops working, will every connected appliance in my house stop working? And who’ll help me if something goes wrong? 

Connected products have so many smart capabilities that enable them to connect to and function with each other. And that’s led to an expectation of interoperability across the connected ecosystem —consumers expect to be able to start one task in the car, finish it on a mobile device and check in on progress from their connected home. But, with the growing reliance on interoperability, there’s a fear that an issue with one piece of connected technology could damage the whole ecosystem.

That’s where your support services and attention to the customer experience comes in. Consumers are looking to you to help them understand how they should build their connected ecosystem and manage any issues within the ecosystem. To successfully help connected consumers feel comfortable growing their technology stack, it’s important to understand each buyer type and to highlight the most relevant products and services for that buyer.

This is Assurant’s third year researching consumers’ thoughts, needs and desires around the connected ecosystem. The insights from our 2019 Connected Now Special Report can help shape your marketing and sales programs and drive greater revenue with your connected products and services. 

Here are key takeaways you can use to address your customers’ needs and sell more value-added services.

1. There are five types of connected consumers, and each type wants different things from you.

Responding to these wants is critical to making good decisions that lead to happier customers and more sales. You need to know which products and services to offer to each type of connected consumer, how to market and sell to them, and how to create support programs that build loyalty and repeat sales.

Our study revealed five types of connected consumers. They vary by demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals:

  • Technophiles: Love all consumer innovation
  • Home Protectors: Get extra comfort from connected control
  • Utilitarians: Prioritize practical convenience
  • Leisure Seekers: Enjoy digital entertainment
  • Technophobes: Infrequently engage with connected tech

Each segment has unique technology needs, desires, frustrations and concerns. Once you know which type you’re targeting, you can offer tailored solutions that provide positive customer experiences and increase sales.

For example, Technophiles have the most devices and want help keeping everything working together. They’ll want upfront support to get devices up and running, protection in case something breaks and upgrade programs that make it easy to trade in old products for new ones. 

4 Ways to Sell More Connected Products and Services

2. Connected consumers use technology in everyday life — and expect it to always work.

Consumers buy connected products and services for different reasons. They buy Bluetooth door locks and Wi-Fi home cameras for security. They buy video game consoles and streaming media for entertainment. They buy robotic vacuums, smart thermostats and smart sprinkler systems for convenience. And they expect all these products and services to work all the time.

That’s understandable, because connected technology has become part of daily life for many people: 60% of consumers account for 90% of all connected product sales.

As consumers buy connected products, they expect them to make life easier, not more frustrating. This trend has opened significant opportunities for service providers, mobile carriers, manufacturers, retailers and other businesses that are part of the connected ecosystem.

3. Consumers want to be supported when they buy connected products and services.

Your customers want ongoing support after they buy. Offering services such as product protection and installation in all channels is critical to building loyalty and repeat sales.

In the connected ecosystem, customer experience is a differentiator that can influence buyer behavior and market share.

4. The right value-added services can give consumers confidence to become more connected.

Connected consumers buy a wide variety of products and services. And they are more likely to buy from a new product category when value-added services are available. 97% of consumers say they might make a first-time purchase in at least one connected category in the next 12 months. Of these, 73% say they’d be more likely to go through with the purchase given inclusion of one or more complementary value-added services.

These services are critical for peace of mind because connected products can be expensive to replace. Consumers want to know that they won’t be out a lot of money if their devices break or have problems. The most effective way to sell value-added services is to tailor solutions according to the connected consumer type.

Creating Success in the Connected Ecosystem

The connected future is here. These insights can help you gain a competitive advantage, improve customer experience and drive more sales.

Assurant is focused on helping you protect, support and optimize your customers’ connected world — and keep them connected to you. Contact us to see how we can help you drive adoption and loyalty in the Connected Now.