Hardware as a Service Could Be the Whitespace Your CE Business is Looking For
If new research from Parks Associates is to be believed, local consumer electronics retailers, integration companies, and manufacturers in the smart home space could find themselves an entirely new potential bucket of revenue that fills a major need for consumers. Hardware as a Service (HaaS, we’ll call it), essentially flips the present-day retail model on its head. Instead of selling products to consumers—specifically in the smart home space—businesses or brands may want to consider offering service packages based around those same products.
Specifically in this instance, Parks Associates research looked into smart home products and how American consumers would be willing to acquire and use those products. The firm found that 50 percent of U.S. broadband households would be willing to pay $5 per month for a smart thermostat service that included setup, installation, and repair/upgrade services. That finding, which is part of Parks Associates’ “360 View: Energy Management, Smart Home, and Energy Providers” report, flies in the face of monthly-fee averse consumers. But it shows that they’d be willing to pay for services if there’s a clear value provided to them, or that helps them complete a task they cannot or do not want to perform.
"Many in the smart home industry want to shift business models from a product to a service business model," Tom Kerber, Director, IoT Strategy, Parks Associates, said in a statement. "For this approach to succeed, companies need to frame their services correctly. Households with a smart thermostat paid on average $177 for the device, so a service model at the right monthly price would be very attractive to consumers. They value features such as repairs, preventive maintenance, and tech support when considering these services."