We’ve identified five key types of customers and how they feel about the connected products and services they interact with, but how has the recent COVID-19 pandemic affected their feelings toward connected tech? In our six-part series, we’ll reveal the psychographic data of each connected consumer type and how you can develop a tailored sales strategy, create unique training opportunities and drive revenue. 

While connected tech is meant to help make our lives easier, not all consumers are excited for it or feel comfortable diving in on their own. Some may even have technophobia as they’re pushed into a connected world they never asked for or wanted, but now need if they're wanting to stay in touch with friends and family across the world. 

Assurant surveyed thousands of people to uncover what consumers are really looking for in their connected lifestyle. We analyzed what frustrates and excites them, and what they expect from connected device manufacturers.

Using this data, we’ve identified five specific types of consumers: 

  1. Technophiles 
  2. Home Protectors
  3. Utilitarians
  4. Leisure Seekers
  5. Technophobes 

Here, we’ll look at Technophobes. They’d prefer to remain analog in a digital world, yet they’re increasingly being pressed to adopt connected technology, especially as people are spending more time at home throughout isolating during the pandemic. It’s up to connected tech providers to make these advancements more appealing and approachable to the people who show reluctance or concerns.

Despite the Pandemic, Technophobes Are Hesitant to Adopt 

Technophobes are likely feeling pressure from their loved ones to adopt connected technology while they’re socially distanced on account of the pandemic, but they’re still facing some adversities to jump right in. This consumer needs a gentle push, not a shove, into the connected tech ecosystem.  

With an average age of 49, Technophobes are the oldest consumer segment. They didn’t grow up using technology, but had a front-row seat as advancements like the internet, cellphones, smart phones, and other connected smart tech advancements grew more complex and more integrated before their eyes. Owning an average of just one connected device, most Technophobes consider “complex” to mean “too complicated” and often feel overwhelmed — keeping them from adopting most connected products. As a result, their technophobia stems from an inability to understand how current technology works — a big barrier for brands to break down. 

Technophobes are also worried about overspending on new connected tech. It’s a reasonable concern, as they have the lowest household income of any consumer segment. Spending a lot of money on a device they may struggle to understand seems not just frivolous, but irresponsible. The best way to bridge that gap is to emphasize the utmost value and growing need of connected tech. 

For example, in our Connected Decade research, there was a fundamental consensus that specific improvements to the American health system were important, despite the diversity in health care needs and experiences. In fact, across all generations, nearly 50% reported being receptive to in-home telehealth options.  

Telehealth remains a top priority not only for health innovation, but also for addressing overall health care costs. Telehealth solutions also can help the elderly and disabled remain independent and in their own homes for longer, and protect those who are immunocompromised and may not want to visit physician offices. All without sacrificing quality of care.  

Technophobes infographic about their preferred tech, which includes: entertainment devices and convenience devicesDevice Value Should Align with Device Expense for Technophobes

A Technophobe and their biggest concern in dealing with tech they're reluctant to use is that an expensive connected device won’t work as expected once they commit to or purchase it. Without adequate technical support, their technophobia will kick in and they’ll likely have a harder time transitioning to using your technology. And one bad experience could leave them with a bad impression -- not just of your devices -- but of your overall brand. 

To ease the 23% of Technophobes who think extended warranties are too expensive, show them it isn’t just an added cost. Give them peace of mind with an extended warranty that protects them from the high cost of repairs and replacements. This could be a welcome point as they analyze every purchase they make in today’s challenging economy. 

Technophobes and their buying behavior


Reiterate to Technophobes That Your Help Is Always Here  

In the Assurant Connected Decade study, more than a third (36%) of owners who haven’t established a wireless connection for their smart product indicate the main reason why is they don’t know how to do so. The interesting takeaway from this finding is that connected technology providers overcame the most difficult hurdle: consumers bought the product, but they still need your help.  

There are opportunities to improve post-purchase support, because people like the Technophobes want and need them. Ease their concerns by highlighting standout features like 24/7 technical support services. This consumer segment most likely needs help with things like installation, troubleshooting and connecting their new device. Whatever the case, allowing them to talk to someone directly can help build a personal connection between them and your brand. Bolster that support with additional resources like quick-start and how-to guides to make it easier to adopt connected technology into their lives.  

By being there for your consumer every step of the way, you’ll help Technophobes move from their analog world into our digital one and stay connected to their loved ones. You’ll increase their perceived value of your product and build loyalty to your brand. And, if you can build that personal connection from the start when they consider buying a product, you build future brand loyalty. According to the Assurant Connected Decade research [include link here], connected device owners are highly likely to purchase the next-gen model of a product they already bought and appreciate. 

Discover the details of the connected product community in our latest white paper on the five key consumer segments and how they buy. You’ll see how the right partner can help you support and protect every connected consumer while keeping them all connected to your business.  

To learn more, Contact Us.