The Smart Home Movement Is a Brick-and-Mortar Winner
Vendors, writers, and other experts have been trumpeting the emergence of the Smart Home movement for years. We’ve all heard about the Internet of Things. Building a retailing strategy that acknowledges it is critical. And the tipping point for the IoT movement (and the SmartestHome™ it operates) appears to be now.
Digital assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Home are a hallmark of these surging Smart Home products. These digital assistants build buzz—and drive sales. But what makes them so popular? And how can third-party retailers get in on the game?
A Brief Update on Capabilities
It’s important to know exactly what these products can do—and when. Alexa, the personification of Amazon’s Echo hands-free speaker, made waves at CES 2017 for its jump in “skills.” The owner of an Echo Dot can play music from streaming services simply by asking it—no hands involved. According to Amazon, the device “answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more.” The user can also call an Uber or order a pizza, for example.
However, it’s only taken a few months for Google Home to make significant inroads into Amazon’s advantage. CNET reports that Google has recently added support for multiple users, increased voice recognition, new smart-home integrations and cooking assistance for more than 5 million recipes!
Staying up-to-date on the upgrades these systems make can by challenging. It’s also critical if you want to capitalize on their selling potential.
Get into the Home Control Game
Google and Amazon have been particularly open to using third-party vendors to create new products for these systems. These third-party vendors are creating big ticket items like security systems, but also accessories such as light bulbs.
These accessories provide consumers with a variety of benefits. Smart light bulbs let users control the type of lighting and the amount of power being used. The digital assistant allows users to make sure that all lights are turned off, from anywhere that the Cloud is available. Smart plugs work in much the same way, helping users to conserve money and monitor their energy use. Smart thermostats provide another layer of control. All of these features can be used throughout the home to give users the ultimate level of control.
Voice recognition is also on the menu in the kitchen. Consumers will appreciate Google Home’s recipes. But devices that can be controlled are just around the corner. Several large appliances are now available, while small appliances are quickly catching up. Connecting these smart appliances to smart plugs and smart power protection systems offer dealers several opportunities for add-on sales.
And of course, voice-recognition has also infiltrated security and surveillance systems. CES 2017 highlighted locks that could operate with nothing more than a voice command, but more extensive systems are also available. These systems are ideal for retailers, as they encourage consumers to ask questions to experts, but can be installed simply. Wireless cameras and baby monitors provide two-way audio and camera control from anywhere. These are high-tech impulse items that are easy to install, easy to control and easy to sell.
Digital assistants and voice control technology are still maturing. But the innovation is picking up steam fast. The demand for SmartestHome™ technology will revolutionize—and saturate—the market. Get ahead of the moment and integrate your inventory with these cutting-edge offerings. Keep following the Petra blog or speak with your Petra sales representative to find out new products and new information in real time.