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Editor’s comment: Connect the dots

It’s time to get smart! It would seem that the opportunities and the benefits around selling smart connected solutions in retail stores are simply too great to ignore these days.

Over recent years, the way we live has completely shifted; while some people are spending more time at home and others are back out to work just as they were before the pandemic, everyone’s reliance on smart technology is increasing. Many consumers are looking to explore new products to test their features in the hope these will make home life that little bit easier.

A major advantage of the smart home is that gadgets and their capabilities can be used at any level. For those that aren’t too familiar with Wi-Fi-enabled products, they can provide a smaller level of support, such as notifying consumers when an appliance door has been left open. But the possibilities extend right up to a completely connected home – with lighting, heating and security, for example, all being controlled remotely or by voice. There really is a solution for everyone, and some of the user benefits can be extremely useful, especially with home security.

And at this particular end of the market, the options around custom installation are growing as well. Why just sell the product and wave that customer out the door? Bring everything together and consider the extra business if you offered to deliver, fit, set up and demonstrate not just the original product, but any necessary supplementary purchases, in the customer’s home. Connect the dots for them and be that one-stop-shop solution provider.

According to the results of CEDIA’s 2021 UK Integrated Home Market Analysis, the custom install market in the UK is now worth £1.2 billion – with growth in integration and control, home cinema and network security.

In this month’s issue, Stuart Tickle from AWE explains how providing smart solutions alongside installation services is an achievable goal. Turn to page 23.

It is such an exciting time right now to witness the evolution of this market and the plethora of connected kit that is coming from the manufacturers. Not only are products more accessible and more competitive now, but the user benefits are rapidly improving the functionalities of homes and the lifestyles of consumers.

Also this month, read my exclusive interview with Jim McEwan, Chief Commercial Officer of Haier UK and Ireland, as he discusses the company’s plans to lead the smart appliances sector into a new era. There are some really interesting product developments on the horizon as the Haier, Hoover and Candy brands cater even further to individuals’ needs.

And I was lucky enough to have another chat with Bas Van Bergen from Ring (on page 28) about the exploding smart home security market, and he provides his tips for retailers selling these solutions in their stores.

Jack Cheeseman – Editor –

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