Today, each consumer has their own personal technology ecosystem, beginning with the products they use at home and extending to those they carry to the office, on the road or wherever their day takes them. And with people needing to connect 24/7, everyone has specific devices and accessories that make their days more productive and their communications more efficient. For retailers, it’s important to help consumers determine what fits into their own ecosystems and where there are gaps to fill. This is going to look different for everyone, but there is a huge opportunity to increase sales with this personalized approach, especially with rapid changes coming due to 5G and Wi-Fi 6.
It All Starts at Home
Beginning with the home environment, our homes have more devices occupying them than ever before. Consumers need to start with a great router, mesh network and strong Wi-Fi to connect everything together. People are also realizing the importance of keeping their belongings safe and secure, leading to an increase in the sale of leading plug-and-play security cameras, smart doorbells and smart lighting with motion-sensing capabilities. Smart doorbells and other smart home products continue to revolutionize how people monitor their homes and how crime is tracked, with many local police departments using these products to catch home and car break-ins.
Retailers should also closely monitor Generation Z, who grew up with smart home products and are now using them in their dorm rooms and apartments. These products are the norm for this demographic, and they are looking for high-power, wireless devices with self-contained batteries. They are constantly tying new products into their own personal ecosystems and using sleek storage devices to contain their data. Overall, this generation expects devices for entertainment, school, and work to be the most cutting-edge, and they want to accessorize products to fit their personal style, which can be constantly evolving.
Working from Anywhere
In light of current world events, increased mobility and working from home has become important for a large portion of the workforce. Consumers are looking for the best ways to stay connected and the best tools to do their jobs. This includes installing larger monitors to work from at home, having robust hard drives for backup, and adding in ergonomic chairs and accessories to make work hours more comfortable and healthier. Corporations are also making their offices more flexible, with shared seating options in open areas. Employees need the best peripheral products for these environments – power cords, battery backup, additional monitors, mice, carrying bags and stylus pens to take notes on their tablet.
For those hitting the road, everyone is looking for the coolest new lightweight options that allow for easy connectivity. This includes powerful and slim devices, chargers, adapters and cases to stay connected, charged and productive. Once road warriors arrive at their destination, they need accessories that support easy connectivity to monitors and projectors for presenting. As 5G and Wi-Fi 6 become more mainstream this year, you’ll see people using more docking stations and connection portals where they can find a strong connection that supports lightning-fast browsing and streaming content.
Meeting Gamers’ Needs
Another key personal ecosystem to address is that of the avid gamer. It’s safe to say that anyone into gaming has purchased up to five accessories to make their play more robust: keyboards, headsets, mice, VR/AR glasses, memory and storage, and more. Even gamers who have a basic console system will make a series of accessory purchases to gain the competitive edge with their play. As gamers see higher speeds due to 5G and Wi-Fi 6, portable devices will become more popular, leading to an increased demand for batteries and cases to take on the road.
A newer trend we are seeing are packaged bundles that support consumers who communicate with the online world via podcasts and other forms of communication. Think of a kit that comes with a microphone, headset, and the software needed to enable podcasting and pick up on conversations within a room. This is an exciting category that will extend to new users as more people use podcasts to share their stories or expertise. People are going to be cutting their cords with 5G and Wi-Fi 6 and going on YouTube to watch everything they need.
As we move into seasonal periods including Back to School and Holiday, it’s important for retailers to think through different consumer profiles and what fits into their personal ecosystems. There are endless possibilities. Continuing to monitor 5G and Wi-Fi 6 is also critical, as new opportunities will arise due to high-speed connectivity and download capabilities. The power of the personal ecosystem is here to stay and will continue to grow. Retailers who don’t address various consumer needs are at risk of leaving money on the table.