The connected decade:

Starting in 2016, we’ve been taking a look at Consumer Demand for Interconnectivity over the Next 10 Years through Assurant's Research & Innovation Project

Welcome to the Connected Decade!

The way consumers interact with connected technology is at an inflection point. Over the next decade, a sea change of global innovation and interoperability across connected devices, cars and homes will redefine the connected landscape. Part of this will be driven by a new focus on working from home, remote learning and connecting to others from a distance. Another part will be driven by technological advancements, like 5G and artificial intelligence, that disrupt consumer buying behaviour. How consumers adopt and interact with new technologies will vary from region to region around the world – opening the door for companies like yours to gain new market share in growth markets and monetise new opportunities in developing markets.

The Pandemic Kicked Tech Adoption to a New Level.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the way consumers interact, especially online. Working, learning and connecting from home became the norm as people around the world spent more time inside their own four walls. Unsurprisingly, that led to the increased adoption of smart products that help us connect to each other. And it turns out that, once consumers adopt a smart product, they have a much more positive outlook on smart technology overall.

The increased familiarity with connected technology that was driven by COVID-19 has opened up new market segments that were lagging in adoption pre-pandemic and laid the foundation for consumers to expand into new smart product categories they hadn't considered before. At Assurant, we're using these insights to help you grow your business and connect to consumers around the world.

53%

of global customers bought at least one more smart product this year

46%

of UK non-digital native generations believe technology is having a positive impact on life*

60%

of global consumers used connected technology to engage in activity more frequently since the pandemic began

73%

of UK users listed Data Security as the top service required from a mobile network

*non-digital native generations refer to those people who grew up before the advent of the Internet, came of age in a world dominated by print and television, and acquired familiarity with digital systems as an adult.

The UK View on Refurbished Devices

Connected Decade chart showing view on refurbished devices

As part of the Connected Decade research, we asked consumers about their views on refurbished devices. From the results there is a clearly a growing interest for consumers to purchase a second- hand device, in particular Millennials, Gen Z and Gen X generations have considered or have already bought a refurbished device. For all three generations, price and condition of device were the most important factors when deliberating buying a second- hand smart device.

With Assurant repurposing 100 million devices globally, not only are we able to support the growing trend for your customers, but we're also helping the planet too by saving 20,412 metric tonnes of e-waste going to landfill.


More Connected Decade Insights from Assurant

People Around the World Agree: Tech is Improving Life

Among its many impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of connected products around the world. Smart technology quickly became the primary method many of us used to connect to family and friends, and to work or learn from home – and it performed well.

Connected Tech Use is at an All-Time High

While the numbers for connected product use are up 50% in the U.S., frustration rose in a similar arc. More than 46% of U.S. consumers say they’ve had challenges with their smart tech — a 35% increase from 2019.
Refurbishing of a used cell phone

Growth of Interest for Refurbished Devices

In continental Europe, purchasing refurbished devices is still not as popular as premium new devices, but in the UK, they surpass buying a new device

The importance of mobile trade-in, for your business, the environment and your customers.

Technology has helped make mobile phones become an essential part of human life. However, the average mobile device consumer will not use the same device indefinitely

Insights from 2020: The Beginning of the Connected Decade

The way consumers interact with connected technology is at an inflection point. Over the next decade, a sea change of global innovation and interoperability across connected devices, cars and homes will redefine the connected landscape. Part of this will be driven by our new focus on working from home, remote learning and connecting to others from a distance. Another part will be driven by technological advancements, like 5G and artificial intelligence, that disrupt consumer buying behaviour. How consumers adopt and interact with new technologies will vary from region to region around the world – opening the door for companies like yours to gain new market share in growth markets and monetise new opportunities in developing markets. 

Charting the Connected Decade

(click the links below to view charts)

Lower latency, increased data capacity, automation and truly intelligent technology will create virtually endless possibilities for connected consumers in the next decade. ‘Smart cities’ are now within reach. Real interoperability between smart homes, cars and mobile devices will be solidified. And enterprise applications for industry-specific advancements are expected to be enormous. Assurant’s Connected Decade research is designed to provide actionable insights that help us work together to enhance existing programs and create new programs that meet your consumers' needs during this evolution. Our study spans six countries, surveying participants who represent shifting consumer attitudes across the United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany. Consumer sentiments outlined in the study reveal substantial opportunities for connected living companies. 

Connected Decade Insights from Assurant

Throughout the next 10 years, Assurant will be analysing and sharing insights into connected consumer buying behaviors around the world. And our industry-leading connected living partners will have the opportunity to turn these insights into actionable programs that create a competitive edge. We’ll focus on ways to promote 5G adoption and other new technology. We’ll leverage our global asset disposition network to help mobile companies monetise legacy devices. And we’ll consider which offers will best support consumers as they manage the connected cars, homes and devices available to them in the Connected Decade.

5G’s Evolution in the Connected Decade

5G will be a game-changer, but carriers are likely to see modest  5G adoption rather  than an all-out wave.  Trade-in offers will play a critical role in overcoming the price barrier to entry. 

From the Americas to APAC:

Connected Trends Around the World

It’s critical for connected living companies to tailor product and service offerings based on local needs, establishing the right levels of support and protection.

UK Global Technology the Research Results

“Global Technology Research” conducted by Corus on behalf of Assurant. Quantitative opinion data sourced from a nationwide panel of British respondents via email-distributed, double opt-in web questionnaire

Foreword By Keith Meier

EVP and President, International at Assurant

Assurant monitors connected technology trends around the world to evaluate buyer needs and identify business opportunities for technology companies, from mobile network operators to retailers and manufacturers

Notes On 5G Adoption In The UK And Around The World

The widespread introduction of 5G in the UK presents some compelling opportunities. The fifth-generation mobile network will make it possible for an increasing number of people and businesses to operate remotely, possibly leading to economic growth across rural areas and all four corners of the UK, not just our major cities

Minimise risk of Connected Product Purchases by Addressing Top Consumer Pain Points

To close the gap between purchase intent and adoption, companies need to minimise the risks associated with the connected products they sell. That starts with understanding consumer pain points.

Mobile At The Centre

Mobile devices sit in the center of the connected ecosystem, enabling smart products to connect to each other. But 33% of consumers don’t know how to connect their products to WiFi. You can help.

The Domino Effect of Connected Products:

Why the First Purchase Is Critical to Get UK Consumers Using The Smart Ecosystem

Consumers are relying more than ever on connected products that enable them to work from home, attend school online and maintain connections with friends and family. And yet they hesitate to fully adopt connected technology. Here’s why.

Ready to drive more business in the Connected Decade?

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