By Ana Bera, SafeAtLast
In the words of the well-known folk singer Bob Dylan, “The times they are a changin’.” We live in the age of information. Big data holds the key to influential decisions made by the larger retail companies, banks and even Congress. The rise of the smart home will cause fast and disruptive change.
The exact effect it will have on the marketplace is yet to be quantified in dollars. But one thing is certain, a wave of change is building and those willing to paddle will enjoy the ride.
Smart Home Security
Home security is one of the top trends in the smart home industry. 62% of Americans regard it as the top benefit of owning a smart home security setup. This causes a major shift in where consumers spend their money. A shift that will determine the success or demise of security companies.
Security Products With A Service
Security product manufacturers can no longer only rely on great product quality. Value for money has always been a good selling point. But, consumers are showing interest in services connected to a security product.
Many smart security products will have a professional installation included in the purchase. But consumers want peace of mind beyond the installation itself. Security companies are catching on and have been rolling out packages for security services coupled with the physical hardware they sell. Value-added services like monitoring and response teams are proving valuable to clients, and the security companies with value-added services are reaping the rewards.
There are two schools of thought when establishing a smart home brand. One, do I make my products able to communicate with any other smart home product? Or two, do I limit their communication to our brand’s products only?
This is a debate that will last a long time, with contrasting pros and cons for both of the options. Whatever the case, it will cause companies to gravitate either towards or away from one another.
Companies who promote inter-connectability will find ways (like third-party platforms) to enhance the user experience of their products. Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa and the smart security system Nest promote this cross-communication. This is not only a purchasing focus of consumers, but a shift in some interesting joint ventures in the years to come as companies will find synergy in this growing trend.
Companies who steer away from cross communication will develop their own product lines. It may take them longer to develop products, but their loyal customers will promise reliable sales figures. This tactic is generally used to protect a business model from being taken advantage of by cheaper products with the same value proposition.
Smart devices will have the ability to communicate over the internet. A fridge will be able to order more milk. Your coffee will be ready when you jump (or crawl) out of bed.
Retailers have already placed emphasis on opening online points of sales. Amazon, for instance, has AmazonFresh. It’s now possible to do your grocery shopping online and have it delivered to your door. Retailers are going to invest large amounts of money into optimizing the user experience for smart home product owners. You can expect the retailers with the best technology to capture larger parts of the online grocery shopping market.
Cost of Data
Smart homes will track, monitor, and control even the smallest details of your everyday life. Information like this will be immensely valuable to marketing companies.
The cost of data collected by smart homes products will be very high. Marketing companies already place a high demand on consumer data. New, untapped, consumer behaviour will open up as smart home products start to generate information gathered in everyday use.
No More Mauls At The Malls
Malls are closing down. Millennials’ needs are different from previous generations’ and they are shopping online. All those sales are happening in an online marketplace. Fewer feet at the malls mean fewer dollars spent at the malls. So, fewer jobs are available for retail sales staff. Things like this are causing a shift in the entry-level and shopfront retail job market.
Smart Homes Mean New Marketplaces
Life is a trade-off. A yes to this is a no that. Smart homes may take a few things away. But it is giving something in return. Businesses and consumers need to be aware of what is coming. Those who are willing to change will reap the rewards.