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Smart security gadgets could outsell professional systems 2 to 1

Some 16% of US households plan to buy a standalone smart security gadget like a video doorbell, compared to 8% who plan to buy a professionally monitored security system.


The rise of video doorbells you can install and monitor yourself may be disrupting the home security industry.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Lots of folks consider getting a professionally-monitored home security system to protect their house -- but consider this: A new study from Parks Associates found that twice as many consumers intend to buy a standalone smart security gadget like a video doorbell or a smart lock, instead.

Specifically, 16% of respondents plan to buy a gadget like that in the next year, compared to 8% who plan to buy a home security system.

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"These smart products address the same core needs of consumers -- to feel safe and secure in their home, having peace of mind that all is well, and knowing they will be alerted of potential dangers," said Dina Abdelrazik, senior analyst at Parks Associates.

Abdelrazik adds that only 28% of those who intend to buy a security system also plan to make a long-term commitment to professional monitoring. That's another potential hurdle for security providers like ADT, Vivint, Frontpoint and Nest, all of which offer packages that require multiyear contracts at the time of sale.

Also at play: Surging interest in at-home video monitoring. Parks found that 67% of consumers who plan to buy a home security system in the next year want one that offers video alerts whenever someone approaches their home. That's the same feature offered by a number of smart video doorbells at this point, including ones from Ring, August and Nest.

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A clear majority of respondents who plan on buying in on home security prefer a system that lets them add additional gadgets into the mix, but most would rather finance all of that tech over time than pay for it up front.

"Price sensitivity is likely the major reason that intentions to buy additional control devices are unfulfilled," Abdelrazik said. "Dealers need to consider a strategy that offers the most desired products at the point of sale and then provides upgrade options over the life of the customer."

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