July/August 2020

“Lighting will also be an

attractive proposition and consumer price points have now reached a mass market level for voice-activated bulbs. For instance, the Philips Hue and WiZ ranges let you dim, tune and change the colour of lights straight from an app or voice assistant. No extra equipment or switches needed.”

WiZ Lighting

Simplicity is key If in-store demos can capture the attention and enthusiasm of shoppers then it is worth linking up all available devices so they can fully appreciated the benefits of connected living. If in-store demos can capture the attention and

enthusiasm of shoppers then it is worth linking up all available devices so they can fully appreciate the benefits of connected living. “If the customer already has a smart speaker

they are on the very edge of being able to change every bulb in their house.” Referring back to home hi-fi and all the

‘behind the scenes’ stuff, Mr Hazel believes that while live demos have an important role, new automatic equalisation software will allow more people to purchase audio products knowing they’ll sound great in their home. “This technology uses the speaker’s woofers

and built-in microphones to emit and detect test tones to calibrate your speakers to your room size and furniture layout,” he explains. “We are seeing this software being introduced to lots of products and I believe it will give customers

Swann’s Wire-Free Security Camera with Face Recognition

or larger products is a massive opportunity to differentiate, and can lead to a fuller custom installation around a property. It is a simple add on, often utilising existing staff that can set you apart from online retailers such as Amazon, and the like.” Not only this, but as Mr Slater says: “A single

more peace of mind that their speakers will sound great.” Mr Hazel’s business offers installation via its

sister company, Insideout Technology. His customers have wanted the features and benefits of a smart home but don’t have the time or knowledge to implement it, he said. “With so many products to choose from,

customers can have a real headache when selecting products that fit their requirements and budget,” adds Mr Hazel. “Having an understanding of lots of different products and platforms allows us to choose products that fit the brief.”

Getting inside the customer’s home For some shoppers, the offer of an installation service in store can be the difference between making a purchase or not. Independent retailers are often trusted advisors with strong reputations in their communities; they can set themselves apart from their competition and gain extra business by upselling other products that could be attached to the system whilst carrying out any work. Continues Mr Tickle: “Installation and an in-

home consultation is, to many people, worth the money. The do-it-for-me installation of connected

point of billing reduces friction when customers are considering an installation service. And purchasing that at the point of sale makes it an easier decision.” It is also worth checking which of your

manufacturer partners can help with advice and assistance in this area. For example, Exertis offers installation services on certain products and it is aiming to expand the range to those retailers looking to engage with a nationwide installation partner. Lastly, retailers need to identify if they have

any existing staff that may be suitable and interested in a role in this area, as Mr Tickle says: “Some will need very little additional training if they are already installing simple TVs and soundbars. Set clear parameters based upon an upsell scenario, and as business develops and revenue comes in, you can then look at dedicated staff and product categories as required.”


The Ring Doorbell and app

“Retailers can’t take on installations as an after-thought” … Says Matt Nimmons, Managing Director of CEDIA EMEA One key way the market has shifted relates

to the availability of high-quality gear that is billed as out-of-the-box ready to install. The tech is out there already and these products open up a world of connectivity, but also open the door for potential networking and bandwidth considerations that may require the expertise of a home technology integrator. Proper product installation – getting it right

evolving and more available than ever before, consumers must understand the need for a holistic approach to how everything will work within their existing home tech ecosystem.


he bottom line with consumer-level smart home technologies: although powerful,

the first time – is crucial. Integrators talk often about creating systems that don’t require training. In other words, home technology must include simple commands that are intuitive and direct. Service agreements that help integrators remote in to troubleshoot and fix a home network, for example, is a growing sales segment among CEDIA integrators. A worst-case scenario is a consumer

purchasing a product, unboxing it, then discovering some sort of incompatibility. They could end up returning the product or leaving

a review that reflects poorly on the product and the retailer. By offering expert installation, retailers greatly reduce opportunities for error. The key for retailers developing a

successful installation programme is training. Manufacturers offer a myriad of resources to ensure any integrator is up to speed on the product’s specs and capabilities, but the retailer has to be committed to freeing their integrators up to take that training and find how it fits best within their business model. CEDIA offers in-depth training and bootcamps

that aren’t product focussed, but skills-focussed in areas like home theatre installation, lighting and networking. The expertise gained from this training provides an unmatched foundation to deliver an expertly-installed project. Retailers can’t take on the task of installing as an after- thought. Though smart home tech is ever-changing, the basic principles of installation have been crafted over the decades.

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