SAN FRANCISCO and LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- BabyCenter®, the #1 pregnancy and parenting web and mobile destination worldwide, today released "The Internet of Things Empowers Parents," a research study revealing that 7 in 10 parents in the United States currently own an Internet of Things device and over a third of these tech-savvy moms and dads believe that their IoT gadgets make them better parents—indeed, 37 percent of parents with IoT/smart devices want to buy another in the next two months. Of the respondents who did not already have an IoT device, three-quarters said that they are interested in learning more about these technical helpmates, and nearly a quarter are expecting to purchase one in the next 30 to 60 days.
The latest BabyCenter Insights study comes on the heels of a broader market report from IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), which revealed that IoT owners are likely to be parents ages 18-34 with college educations and household incomes above the national average of $50,000. Taking a deeper dive into these parents' experiences with smart/IoT gadgetry, BabyCenter research shows that the top devices owned by today's parents include:
- Smart TVs
- Internet-connected TV devices (e.g., Apple TV, Roku)
- Health/fitness tracking devices (e.g., FitBit)
- Smart baby/children's toys
Fifty-seven percent said they purchased their IoT device to make their life easier. Other top reasons for purchase included:
- Saving time (36%)
- Having more control (29%)
- Having the newest technology (26%)
- Safety/security (23%)
Virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant have also struck a chord with today's parents—whether leveraged through smartphones or smart speaker devices—with 26% of those who have tapped into them saying they would not want to go back to life without one. Perhaps blurring the line between AI and human interaction, 42% of device owners say that they speak to their virtual assistants like an actual person with 53% of them remarking that they say "thank you" when talking to them, and 43% state that they have assigned a gender to their virtual assistant, calling it either "he" or "she." While a smaller percentage of parents currently access these virtual assistants through a smart speaker—such as Amazon Echo or Google Home—moms' ownership of these devices has doubled in just the past six months.
Looking at one of the most expensive IoT items available, over a third of parents—whether smart/IoT device owners or not—say that having a connected car is an important consideration in their next auto purchase. More than half of dads stated that in-car internet connectivity is key in their decision-making.
The research also showed that there is an opportunity for brands to participate in parents' newfound interest in IoT. Many moms and dads with these gadgets said they would welcome personalized experiences—such as product recommendations (26%) and tailored content from marketers (25%)—based on data they track or content they access through their smart/IoT devices. Moreover, 54 percent of IoT-owning parents stated that they have greater confidence in content accessed on these gadgets, if it is identified as being from an already trusted source or brand.
"When we talk to parents, we always hear how stressed they are every day. This study clearly shows that IoT devices and voice-controlled technology are making their lives easier, and at the same time, helping them feel like better parents," said Julie Michaelson, Head of Global Sales for BabyCenter. "As we move into CES this week, I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing about the latest capabilities for IoT and how we can bring them to our waiting BabyCenter community."
Further findings from the BabyCenter "The Internet of Things Empowers Parents" study are available upon request.
The study was fielded November 30 – December 11, 2016, via the BabyCenter Global Parents' Panel, the BabyCenter Community, and Research Now® panel. 1,359 U.S. parents (230 dads and 1,129 moms), ages 18 – 44, responded to the in-depth online survey. For the purposes of the study, the "Internet of Things" category was defined as including the following: Amazon Dash buttons, baby health tracking devices, connected cars, health/fitness tracking devices, Internet-connected TV devices, smart baby/children's toys, smart home/home security devices, smart kitchen appliances, smart nursery/baby gear, smart speakers with virtual assistants enabled, smart TVs, and smart watches.
About BabyCenter LLC
BabyCenter is the world's partner in parenting. The #1 pregnancy and parenting digital destination, BabyCenter reaches more than 45 million parents a month from every corner of the globe through its 11 owned and operated properties in 9 different languages. In the United States, 8 in 10 new and expectant moms online use BabyCenter each month. BabyCenter provides parents with trusted information, advice from peers, and support that's Remarkably Right® at every stage of their child's development. Products include websites, mobile apps, online communities, email series, social programs, print publications, and public health initiatives. BabyCenter has 13 Webby Awards including the 2016 Webby "People's Voice Award" in the Family/Parenting category. BabyCenter leverages its industry-leading audience engagement to provide unparalleled insights and innovative marketing solutions to the world's top brands, retailers, and institutions. BabyCenter is also committed to improving maternal health globally, and, through its Mission Motherhood™ campaign, works closely with nonprofits, NGOs, and governments to help make motherhood safer for all women. BabyCenter LLC is a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. Visit BabyCenter on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn and follow @BabyCenter and @MomInsights on Twitter.
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