Welcome to the Smart Products Lab

Today’s products are becoming ever smarter, able to act and function independently of their users. How does this change consumers’ perception and use of these novel technologies?

The Smart Products Lab pursues an interdisciplinary approach, spanning behavioral and quantitative research from areas such as consumer psychology and data science, to gain profound insights into smart products together with selected industry partners.

The purpose of the lab is to unite a community of international scholars and organizations who study the many ways consumers interact with smart products. It aims to improve the visibility of the community while also fostering education in this area. Based on current reports and blog posts, the lab provides an overview of ongoing research in the field of smart products.

The Smart Products Lab was founded in 2020 as a joint initiative of the Institute of Customer Insight at the University of St. Gallen and the Chair of Digital Marketing at the University of Lucerne, both located in Switzerland. 

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HBR article on autonomous products and consumer happiness

What would be your guess—does the use of autonomous technologies make us happy? Accumulating research suggests that using smart and autonomous products makes consumers happier—but only under certain circumstances, as a recent Harvard Business Review article reveals:   Increasingly, humans outsource tasks to autonomous and smart technologies, such as robotic vacuum cleaners, cooking machines, and autonomous lawn mowers. This approach […]



Research insights article published in the Swiss Marketing Society (gfm): When Products Become Autonomous—Recommendations for the Adoption of Smart Products

https://gfm.ch/forschungsreihe/gfm-forschungsreihe-3-20-wenn-sich-produkte-selbstaendig-machen/ (in German) Zimmermann, Jenny L., Melanie Clegg, Emanuel de Bellis, and Reto Hofstetter (2020), ”Wenn sich Produkte selbstständig machen – Handlungsempfehlungen zur Adoption von smarten Produkten”, Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Marketing Forschungsreihe. 72% of the Swiss population already own a smart product and 59% consider purchasing smart products in the near future. These are results […]



Project: Smart Products Report 2022

The Smart Products Report 2020 is the first representative study to shed light on the perception and use of smart products in Switzerland. And more is to come: We are currently preparing the Smart Products Report 2022 as a follow-up! Did you know that in 2020, already 72% of the Swiss population owned a smart device? Furthermore, the […]



Contribution to the book “The Machine Age of Customer Insight” that is now available!

Einhorn, Martin; Löffler, Michael; de Bellis, Emanuel; Herrmann, Andreas & Burghartz, Pia (ed.): The Machine Age of Customer Insight. Emerald Publishing Limited, 2021, – ISBN 9781839096976. Available at: https://books.emeraldinsight.com/page/detail/The-Machine-Age-of-Customer-Insight/?K=9781839096976 (Early birds save 30% with promo code “MACHINE30”) The emerging machine age offers a unique opportunity to gain novel, profound customer insights and unlock immense potential in different business areas, especially for smart products that generate […]