This manuscript investigates consumer responses to new smart products. Due to the application of information technology, smart products are able to collect, process and produce information, and can be described to ‘think’ for themselves. In this study, consumers respond to smart products that are characterized by two different combinations of smartness dimensions. One group of products shows the smartness dimensions of autonomy, adaptability and reactivity. Another group of smart products are multifunctional and can cooperate with other products. We measure consumer responses to these smart products in terms of the innovation attributes of relative advantage, compatibility, observability, complexity and perceived risk. A study among 184 consumers shows that products with higher levels of smartness are perceived to have both advantages and disadvantages. Higher levels of product smartness are mainly associated with higher levels of observability and perceived risk. The effects of product smartness on relative advantage, compatibility and complexity vary across product smartness dimensions and across product categories. For example, higher levels of product autonomy are perceived as increasingly advantageous while a high level of multifunctionality is perceived disadvantageous. The paper discusses the advantages and pitfalls for each of the five product smartness dimensions and their implications for new product development (NPD). The manuscript concludes with a discussion of the limitations of the study and it provides suggestions for further research.

Adoption, Consumer Evaluations, Intelligent Products, New Product Development, Smart Products
Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Production Management (jel M11), New Firms; Startups (jel M13), Management of Technological Innovation and R&D (jel O32)
Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Rijsdijk, S.A, & Hultink, E.J. (2007). How Today’s Consumers Perceive Tomorrow’s Smart Products (No. ERS-2007-005-ORG). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from