Awareness and adoption of smart home products by everyday consumers has finally reached mass-market acceptance. According to Parks Associates, 48 percent of U.S. households with broadband intend to buy at least one smart home device this year, up by a whopping 66 percent over 2017. Brick-and-mortar retailers will play an important and profitable new role in this exploding sector. A solid omnichannel game plan has major advantages toward the smart home customer experience that can't be matched by pure e-commerce.
The key to retail success in the smart home space is understanding the entire through line of the consumer's purchase journey. The retailer's value and the customer's trust are exchanged before, during, and after the sale.
Smart home products are both easy and challenging for the retailer to sell. Common benefits like safety, security and energy economy are simple for everyone to understand and have genuine appeal; that's the easy part. However, there are multiple ways to achieve smart home benefits, involving a broad selection of product types and brands. This causes confusion for customers and sales staff alike. Smart home is not a product, but a combination of products working together. Smart home is not an app, but it's controlled by an app. Smart home is not a service, but it's often connected to a free or paid service. It's easy to see why confusion is a problem.
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