A smarter future?

Smart technology is already a key feature on so many devices and products within home electronics categories, and even more so in the future. Retailers can offer a complete smart home solution, not just a lone category feature in store.

By Adam Williams, Chief Revenue Officer, Lightwave and Director, Smart Homes & Buildings Association


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e are seeing an evolution towards the integration of IOT and connected technology into the fabric of the home.

Retailers need to move along with this. The

way I believe they can do that successfully is to think about how they offer smart home as a complete solution, not just a category feature. They would need to offer all the services that go along with that. It should not be seen as a burden, but as an extension of the relationship with the customers that they already have. Retailers are ideally placed to do this:

Advice. Helping customers break down the barriers and discover how a smart home solution could work for them.

Move into truly smart kitchens, connecting the

Take care of everything. Offer installation, either themselves or with third party companies.

After-sales service. Continue that relationship; this solves one of the worry points for consumers: “if something stops working, who do I speak to?”.

Retailers’ category approach needs to move

from segmentation by appliance to segmentation by solution. Smart is moving into major appliances, beyond the plug-in gadgets that dominated in the earlier stages of this category.

smoke alarm to the cooker, for example, so if something happens it all gets shut down. Smart speakers are now able to automate and control heating as well over smart Wi-Fi or wireless boiler switches that are intelligently controlled. What we are seeing is a proliferation. Imagine

a pyramid – the bottom is large volume and penetration of plug or battery devices around the home; moving up there’s further integration, and the volume is lower but the value is greater. As this happens, more services are required.

Firstly, the potential complexity of those systems grows and the customer needs better advice and support through purchase and, crucially, installation.

Secondly, an increasing tie-in with the growth

of sustainable technology and energy management, low carbon smart meters and smart heating, for example. One of the things that is changing the definition of what smart means is the implementation of the latest and greatest technology to create a more sustainable home. Savvy retailers will survive and thrive in the

future because they have already built up decades of reputation for providing trusted goods and advice. That will be more important in this world in the future, not less important by any means. Smart technology is already a key feature on so

many devices and products within home electronics categories, and even more so in the future.


January 2021

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