Majority of consumers would be more likely to purchase tech if offered protection and support services

Assurant (NYSE:AIZ), a leading global business services company that supports, protects and connects major consumer purchases, today reveals findings from its latest Connected Decade research. The research reveals the continued rise in connected living, with growth in connected device usage and an increased appetite for 5G devices.

Assurant’s latest Connected Decade research explores U.S. consumers’ attitudes towards connected devices during 2022. According to the research, there was a 39% increase in device usage last year, where the majority of consumers surveyed (60%) connected at least one new or replacement device to their Wi-Fi for the first time.

But while device usage is on the rise and 5G has been a catalyst for driving smartphone upgrades during the past year, U.S. consumers facing inflation and the global cost of living crisis are cautious in their approach to spending on connected devices this year. According to the study:

  • Only 39% of consumers are likely to upgrade their smartphones in the coming year, compared to 54% in the previous year.
  • Only 30% of consumers are very likely to buy a newer model of their connected devices when the latest version is released — a 23% decrease from 2021.
  • 60% of consumers have already upgraded to a 5G-capable smartphone or are willing to upgrade their device to get 5G capability. This compares to 36% the year before.

“It’s great to see the increased device usage and addition of new devices in the home in the wake of the heavy investments consumers made in connected devices during the pandemic. It clearly shows just how reliant we have become on our devices and the benefits that connected living provides,” said Jeff Unterreiner, President, U.S. Connected Living at Assurant. “As consumers hold on to their connected products for longer in the face of economic uncertainty, service providers and retailers have an opportunity to deepen relationships by offering support and protection solutions that give customers reassurance and peace of mind.”

Assurant’s research also shows that consumer consciousness and the desire to be more sustainable are creating growing demand for refurbished devices. While 35% of consumers were highly interested in buying a refurbished device, almost half (48%) expressed a willingness to pay an optional monthly fee that would support environmental sustainability initiatives.

“We all share a responsibility to ensure that sustainable practices are integrated into the entire device lifecycle. As with smartphones, trade-in and asset value recovery programs can make a big impact across the connected living ecosystem. What’s great about these programs is that the outcome benefits everyone – consumers, providers, manufacturers and the environment,” continued Unterreiner.

As connected living grows, so too does a desire among consumers for helpful technical support, and protection of their connected devices:

  • 58% of consumers experienced frustrations with Wi-Fi connected consumer electronics or appliances.
  • 58% of consumers who are likely to buy a connected product in the future would be more likely to purchase if offered a value-added service (like an extended warranty or device protection) to complement the purchase.

“It’s no surprise that consumers want helpful support in setting up these devices, integrating them into their home networks and troubleshooting any issues that arise. And as we’ve seen in our past research, the more people use connected devices, the more value they place on device protection. Having warranties in place helps to ensure people can stay connected if something breaks down. Not only does this present an opportunity to OEMs and retailers who can offer value-added services as part of the sales process, but doing so will improve upon the customer experience,” added Unterreiner.

Assurant’s Connected Decade research is an annual survey examining consumer attitudes around connected devices, homes and vehicles, and how those insights impact service providers, retailers and manufacturers. The report reflects responses from 1,000 owners of Wi-Fi and mobile devices in the U.S. with response data captured using web surveys in December 2022. The full report is available to download here.

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About Assurant

Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ) is a leading global business services company that supports, protects and connects major consumer purchases. A Fortune 500 company with a presence in 21 countries, Assurant supports the advancement of the connected world by partnering with the world’s leading brands to develop innovative solutions and to deliver an enhanced customer experience through mobile device solutions, extended service contracts, vehicle protection services, renters insurance, lender-placed insurance products and other products.

Learn more at assurant.com or on Twitter @Assurant.

Media: Andy Mus Director, External Communications andy.mus@assurant.com

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