The do-it-yourself smart home trend creates challenges for security dealers, but also opportunities, as research from Parks Associates released last year reveals.
More than a third (36%) of U.S. broadband households that returned a smart home device did so because of set-up, installation and usage difficulties, according to research from Parks Associates. Researchers asked specifically about devices returned during the previous 12 months.
The researchers also asked consumers about their level of interest in various smart home related services and found strong interest in various types of smart home related services. Security dealers are well positioned to offer virtually any of these.
Smart Home Services
Respondents expressed the greatest interest in a service that protects smart home devices from viruses or hacking. About two thirds of respondents thought such a service was valuable, including close to 50% who said it was highly valuable.
Following the viruses and hacking protection service, in order, were identity theft protection, a Wi-Fi enhancing and monitoring service, and a technical support and monitoring service. More than half of respondents said those services were valuable.
The researchers also identified several niche services that also present opportunities, including a service that allows users to manage data use by connected devices, a system that allows users to access or control parts of their home remotely, a service that enhances parental control of online or mobile activities and a fall detection or health monitoring service. While fewer respondents overall saw value in these offerings, these offerings likely have strong appeal to specific types of customers such as those with children or elderly parents.
Of the smart home services that Parks studied, the ones clearly within security dealers’ traditional areas of expertise are the technical support and monitoring service and the service that enables users to access or control parts of their home remotely. And although Parks may not have asked about a set-up and installation service, the finding about smart home device returns suggests that such a service – which is also in the security dealer’s wheelhouse -- also would be appealing. Additionally, security dealers also are well positioned to serve the health monitoring niche market.
Some of the potential smart home service opportunities that Parks looked at – such as the identity theft protection service and the managed Wi-Fi service – may be less obvious options for a security dealer to offer. But considering that offerings such as these are available as cloud services, it’s not such a stretch for a dealer to add them to its service portfolio. A key advantage of cloud services is that they don’t require much, if any, capital investment, making it easy and relatively risk-free for security dealers to give them a try.
Security dealer salespeople already may be mentioning the smart home on every sales call and outlining the advantages of buying smart home devices from an established security company with installation, service and monitoring capabilities. The Parks Associates finding about people who return smart home devices because of set-up and installation issues could be a persuasive piece of information to add to sales presentations. Salespeople also should keep smart home niche markets such as the elderly in mind, even if the senior lives in a different home.
More information about the Parks Associates research can be found in this announcement.
Security Equipment Supply (SES) is a leading wholesale alarm equipment distributor in the U.S. with 37 years of experience serving security dealers. We carry a full line of security and smart home equipment, including control panels and smart home devices.
Our knowledgeable salespeople keep up to date on new technology developments and will be able to help you in selecting the latest smart home devices, including smart thermostats, smart door locks, smart lighting controls and more.