5 Types of Connected Consumers: What They Want and Why It Matters

We’ve identified five types of customers and how they feel about the connected products and services they interact with. In our six-part series, we’ll reveal the psychographic data of each connected consumer type and how you can use it to develop a tailored sales strategy, create unique training opportunities and drive revenue.

Build Loyalty Based on Connected Device Confidence

Today, connected devices like smartphones, smart thermostats, smart security systems and even smart litter boxes are changing the way we live, work and entertain ourselves. But there are still some hurdles for consumers to overcome before they feel comfortable adapting to a fully connected lifestyle — and they’re looking to you for help.

Understanding the wants, needs and expectations of the individual connected consumer is a good place to start. As we enter the Connected Decade, Assurant surveyed thousands of people and identified five types of connected customers:

  • Technophiles love technology and are excited about the next big technology release. But just because they’re tech savvy doesn’t mean they know everything about it.
  • Home Protectors want connected technology that makes their house feel like home. And part of that is creating a connected experience that’s free from technical difficulties.
  • Utilitarians want connected technology with practical solutions that enhance their everyday lives. Generally, they’re not going to be quick adopters of the newest product release. They’ll question whether the price of connected technology fits within their budget.
  • Leisure Seekers are dreaming up their ultimate smart home entertainment system. They enjoy accessing their favorite shows and tunes anytime and anywhere, but they worry about securing their investment.
  • Technophobes, as the oldest segment, watched on the sidelines as technology advanced by leaps and bounds. What will it take to help them jump in? Tech support services that allow them to talk to a live person could help.

In our Connected Consumer blog series and our latest white paper, we’ll take an in-depth look at each group, providing you with actionable insights that will help you win their business. We’ll also identify the traits connected consumers have in common so you can develop strategies to address these broader needs.

Top 5 Consumer Frustrations

While each segment’s sentiments around technology differ, connected consumers share similarities when it comes to their expectations — and their frustrations. Home protectors, utilitarians and leisure seekers experience higher rates of frustration than technophiles and technophobes. But all five consumer types tend to become irritated when connected technology solutions fall short of their expectations.

The good news is that consumers are generally optimistic about connected technology. In fact, the number of connected optimists has grown steadily from 67% in 2017 to 69% in 2019. And, even though technophobes own the fewest devices (often just one), two-thirds of this segment believe that connected technology makes life better, not worse.

Because a failure to live up to expectations could be the deal-breaker to brand loyalty, the challenge for brands is to provide products that actually work the way they’re supposed to. Our Connected Decade research study indicates that consumers have gotten used to periodic smartphone upgrades, and that expectation has been transferred to other connected product categories. Even consumers with a strong brand affinity will seek better opportunities with — and a better understanding of — new connected service offerings and capabilities, especially when the device doesn’t perform as they expected.

Successful brands dedicate resources to helping consumers overcome frustrations quickly, efficiently and smoothly. As people continue to work, study and hang out at home, they’ll rely on technology to keep in touch with friends, family and coworkers. Fully functional technology isn’t just nice to have these days. It’s a necessity.

Concerns About Cyber Threats
Top 3 Cybersafty Concern

As connected technology continues to grow, so do security concerns. Connected devices provide a new range of opportunities for cybercriminals. Personal data is precious, and each consumer segment understands the importance of keeping their information safe. Especially after seeing headlines about cyberattacks, identity theft and misuse of personal data.

The Assurant Connected Decade research study discovered that video games appear to be a new frontier of cybercrime — a risk especially heightened for leisure seekers. Yet, only 39% of video game players said they were aware that data associated with 200 million Fortnite user accounts was exposed in 2019.

Technophobes and home protectors are the two fastest-growing consumer types. Both have deep technology security concerns. Technophobes aren’t tech-savvy, so they aren’t sure how to keep their data safe. And safety and security are critically important to home protectors, so they expect those concerns to be addressed.

Connected technology brands will need to reassure consumers that they can not only deliver quality products, but also help them protect their data from cyber threats.

How You Can Overcome Connected Consumer Concerns and Frustrations

To bridge the gap in consumer adoption, brands can offer value-added services that help every type of connected consumer overcome concerns and frustrations. These services provide the support consumers need, helping everyone from technophiles to technophobes connect with the products and services that best suit their needs. Consumers Protect their Purchases 

Value-added services also increase the likelihood that the consumer will make a purchase, according to the Connected Decade research. For example, a consumer is 32% more likely to buy a laptop if an extended warranty is included. Are you offering smart baby monitors? You’ll increase the likelihood of a purchase by 25% if you include identity protection.

All five consumer types recognize the importance of protecting their devices. And, while some might not appreciate the cost of those services, distinctive buying patterns are emerging for three kinds of value-added service purchases: premium technical support, extended warranties and smartphone protection plans.

Value Added Services 

In fact, consumers view services such as installation, tech support and protection as an essential part of their connected experience. Technophiles regularly buy these extra services (61%), while the remaining buyer types have a moderate to habitual value-added service purchase rate in the 30% – 40% range. Successful brands in the Connected Decade will offer value-added services to increase the appeal of their connected products. 


Key Takeaways for Building a Marketing Strategy

Understanding the different consumer types is key to thriving in the Connected Decade. Insight into their behaviors and desires will help you present the right products and solutions and keep your business competitive. Here are a few things to keep in mind when developing marketing strategies.

Satisfaction is a strong predictor of market share.

When a customer is happy with a product you’ve developed, it’ll increase their loyalty to your brand. Especially if it’s a first-time purchase. Loyal customers are a huge advantage, even for well-established brands. 

Consumers believe value-added services are critical for their connected product purchases.

Consumers have a lot of concerns when it comes to connected technology: from price to safety to their own learning curve. By advertising services that provide education, installation help and tech support, you’ll help consumers feel more comfortable with and confident about their purchase.

Consumers want their connected lives to continue without interruption.

Most of all, consumers want the peace of mind that their connected device purchase will work as expected. And, if something does go wrong with their smartphone or smart speaker, they want reassurance that it’ll be fixed quickly, easily and affordably. By keeping the connected lives of your customers running smoothly, you’ll keep your business running smoothly, too. 

Learn more about each of the connected consumer types by reading our latest white paper. You’ll see how the right partner can help you support and protect every connected consumer while keeping them all connected to your business.

To learn more, Contact Us.