A total of 109 vendors and around 1,000 dealers and resellers converged on Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pa., last week for D&H Distributing’s 2015 Mid-Atlantic Fall Technology Show, where they found a wide assortment of products, many of which addressed burgeoning consumer interest in connected-home products.
“More devices are connected in some form to the Internet than ever; it’s an easier process today for the consumer,” said Rob Eby, vice president of purchasing. He said devices like Zmodo’s connected doorbell and Wi-Fi camera, on display at this one-day vendor show, were emblematic of how much more understandable the concept of Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming for buyers. “It’s in its infancy, but it’s expanding to the do-it-yourselfer. Some of these products only require a screwdriver for installation,” said Eby, adding that D&H is on the lookout to increase vendors in that category. “It all leads to dealers helping consumers have a better infrastructure in their homes – which leads to opportunities for add-on sales for dealers” of additional products – and also for reasons to suggest and then execute profitable upgrades of home networks so that they can be robust enough to handle all the additional traffic these devices generate.
Besides the connected home/IoT categories, other growing product areas for D&H’s customers include housewares (i.e., small appliances), sporting goods, and recreation, encompassing the area of action cameras. “The wearables area will continue to grow, too,” he said, and well beyond the usual wristband-type product. And 3D printing, represented among D&H’s product portfolio by several vendors, is also expanding its market presence and will continue to, as price-points progressively drop, he said. “You’ll especially see it grow in the K-through-12 area,” and with users who have an art or an engineering focus, he said.