Early consumer research

Early consumer research

Early consumer research

Startup life 21 Oct 2019

As part of our customer discovery and validation process, we decided to conduct online market surveys to better understand our potential customers.

Using a questionnaire sent to 100+ people across North America, we collected valuable insights into how people are currently interacting with their window coverings. The following is a very high-level analysis of some of the data insights we saw.

Horizontal blinds lead the way

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Although 23% of respondents had multiple window types in their homes, a significant majority had horizontal blinds installed in at least one location in their home. Horizontal blinds were by far the most popular window covering type, with curtains following behind with 39%.

Although we hope to target all types of window coverings in the future, this validates that there is a large household market that has horizontal blinds already installed.

An established install base

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Installing new window coverings can be an expensive and time-consuming activity. We found that most of our respondents had no desire to change their current window coverings in the short-term.

Specifically, for households with horizontal blinds, 58% of these respondents had no plans to change in the future.

We are designing our first product to be a retrofit product that can be used to make your blinds smart. By doing so, we hope to help households modernize their existing blinds with the latest in automation and other smart features.

How do we control these things?

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We wanted to know how people currently use their horizontal blinds, so we asked them.

The results were that the majority of blind owners use the tilt wand to open and close their blinds by changing the angles of the blind slats. This action was more than sufficient for 51% of the respondents, indicating that this was the preferred control method.

We are keen to cater to our customers’ needs and are looking at ways to help automate the control of blinds using mobile apps, voice control, and preset scheduling.

The desire for smart features

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We knew that smart home features were popular, but we didn’t realize that they were this popular. Based on the survey results, we found that 88% of respondents were interested in smart home features like controlling their devices using mobile phone apps, voice control, or automated scheduling.

We found that 78% of households surveyed with horizontal blinds would be willing to pay to get these features in their homes. We know there are interest and demand for these features, and that households are looking for ways to make their lives easier using smart home devices.

Smart home market penetration

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Smart home speakers like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod are becoming ubiquitous in many people’s homes. Our market survey confirmed this as we found that 74% of respondents had at least one smart speaker installed in their homes. Several households had multiple platforms present in their homes.

Interestingly, we also found that 62% had other advanced smart home devices other than smart speakers or televisions. These devices included those that made thermostats, doorbells, and light bulbs smart. There is a considerable market demand for these devices that we believe will continue to grow over the next few years.

How we discover new smart home devices?

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We wanted to know how best to reach new and existing customers, so we asked how people currently learn about new smart home technologies. We found that the large majority of respondents now learn about new devices through social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Word of mouth also continues to be a colossal referral source and makes our goal of building a well-designed and usable device for all customers of utmost importance. We also found that 37% of respondents also still find out about new products in retail stores.

The next steps

Learning about how our potential customer base currently uses their current window coverings and their desire for smart features was an enlightening experience. We hope to use some of the above insights as well as the multitude of other ideas we learned from our market surveys to build better products that best fit the market.

Please follow us as we continue to work towards these goals!