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4.28.21 – SSI – Art Sesnovich

A new study breaks down the purchase of smart locks by gender, but should integrators adjust their selling strategy based on the numbers?

Over the past several years, SSI has shared a series of infographics to help security and smart home dealers close more smart lock sales, as well as upsell additional smart home devices. Each infographic contains an important data point that can provide information about purchasing drivers — information that dealers can use to increase their chances of bringing home a sale.

This latest infographic shows the purchase of smart lock sales by gender. It is based on a random sample of 235 smart lock purchases from TraQline, a company enlisted by leading residential lock manufacturer Kwikset to track purchasing habits and patterns. In the survey, respondents were asked who made the primary purchasing decision.

What does this infographic (seen below) ultimately tell us? A number of things.

One thing is that half of all purchase decisions are made by men only. If you add in the number of decisions made by both parties, it’s close to 70%. This means that men are either wholly or at least partly involved in almost 7 out of 10 smart lock purchases. So, does that mean talking only to the men is the best strategy? Hardly.

As we can see, the percentage of women who were the sole decision makers in the smart lock purchase (31%) is not that far behind the male-only decision — only 17 percentage points. Plus, if you add together the percentage of “female-only” purchasing decisions and “decisions by both,” you’ll see that women are involved, either in whole or in part, in 52% of smart lock purchasing decisions.

Although it appears from these statistics that men are the slightly greater purchaser of smart locks, a recent study from Hippo Insurance posits that women are more interested than men in smart home technology that will keep them safe, while men gravitate towards devices that will increase energy efficiency. From that standpoint, one might assume that the smart lock purchase would be catalyzed more often by women.

That position is also borne out by some information from a study commissioned by Kwikset in 2020 that identified a segment of smart technology purchasers called “safety seekers”: homeowners who puts their family’s security and safety first, irrespective of how that security is delivered. These “traditional safety seekers” are, according to the study, 77% female.

So, in the TraqLine survey, for example, is it possible that of the 48% of men who claimed to have made the sole purchase decision, some were at least influenced by women in their purchase decision? Or, of the couples who claimed that both were involved, one or the other was really the prime mover?

Ultimately, what is the takeaway from this infographic? It is simply this: you never really know who is making the purchasing decision when talking to a couple or a single person about smart locks. So, address them exactly the same. Gender should play no part in the selling process, regardless of what the statistics might say.

Art Sesnovich is a principal and co-founder of Bulldog Communications.