The Internet of Things: Lack of Consumer Knowledge May Impact Bottom Line

The Internet of Things: Lack of Consumer Knowledge May Impact Bottom Line

New research by CARAVAN® Omnibus Surveys from ORC International shows that even though the Internet of Things (IoT) is ever present in today’s business and technology circles, only half of the American adult population (51%) has heard of the term.

Even with tech-savvy Millennials, 1 in 3 do not know the term, and only 8% of American consumers regard themselves as being ‘very familiar’ with it.

Of those very familiar, there is still difficulty with accurately defining it. Responses ranged from an outlet for shopping online, to connectivity to internet searching- all of which are inaccurate.

Defined, the IoT is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices.

When provided a description of the IoT, 85% of Americans have concerns about the increased risk to breach of security/privacy, while 70% feel it would have a negative impact on daily interactions. 51% say they would be concerned about technical issues and the ability to repair them.

However, 53% agree the IoT would have a positive impact to health and wellbeing- allowing them to proactively track and monitor health issues on a regular basis. 66% also feel there would be a positive impact on the workplace where employees would be more connected with each other, options to work remotely would increase- providing a level of flexibility and mobility to their jobs.

Robson added:
“Without a doubt, the IoT will be intertwined with many, if not all, businesses in the future,” said Chris Robson, ORC International’s SVP- Research Sciences.
“Businesses will see the benefits from the abundance of consumer and product data that can inform strategies regarding consumer needs and markets. However, with a lack of consumer knowledge and concerns over privacy, consumers may be hesitant to purchase products connected with the concept of IoT if they don’t know how their data will be used or shared.”

“It is up to businesses to not only understand how to use or analyze the data effectively, but to also educate consumers to quell concerns about products that connect and feed data. Without that education, negative impact to the bottom line is very possible.”

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