Smart Security Ecosystem is an Open Door for Dealers, Integrators
If you’re a dealer in security products like locks, or any other smart home products, you likely have an interest in expanding your home automation business. And if you’ve perused even the highlights of any recent industry studies, you’ve likely heard that the home automation sector of the consumer technology business is growing like gangbusters. Just one example: according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the smart home market is forecast to be nearly 1.3 billion devices by 2022, with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 20.8%.
Perhaps you feel like you’re on the outside looking in on this growing connected device market, and you don’t know how to break in? If so, I’d like to recommend a highly effective entry point: the smart security ecosystem, and even more specifically, the smart lock.
Connect With Security
A subset of the larger smart home ecosystem, the smart security ecosystem is comprised of a group of connected devices that specifically address home monitoring and security. These devices can include any combination of smart locks, smart doorbells, indoor/outdoor cameras, door/window and motion sensors, alarm systems, control hubs, and more. These are devices that not only improve the lives of homeowners, but also protect them and keep the home and family safe. As these security products expand their capabilities and become more intelligent and integrated, their popularity is expanding as well.
There was a time when smart connected devices were primarily of interest to a relatively small number of technology lovers and early adopters. There are many reasons why more consumers of every generation are buying smart connected devices, with enhanced convenience and security recognized by most analysts and researchers as reasons number one and two.
For example, a survey conducted by Parks Associates of U.S. broadband households that also own smart devices showed that almost 38 percent of those surveyed cited security as the primary purchase driver, second only to convenience. The close relationship between security and smart homes is also further clarified in a 2019 Park Associates white paper showing that 63% of households with security systems also owned a smart home product. By 2020, the number of people using smart security is expected to swell to over 22 million from nearly 3 million users in 2014, according to a report by Next/Market Insights research firm.
Finding Your Customers’ Comfort Zone
One of the reasons many consumers begin their home automation experience with smart security ecosystem devices is that they already recognize the value of devices that enhance safety and security.
Most consumers recognize that crime is not subsiding, and the reasons for protecting a home are not going away any time soon. According to the Washington Post, FBI data showed that there were an estimated 1,053,999 home burglaries in 2016 – a burglary about every 30 seconds. This article also pointed to a University of North Carolina at Charlotte survey of convicted burglars in which 60 percent of the felons said they would seek an alternative target if there was an alarm.
Crime statistics can be a powerful sales driver. Many security product owners buy these products for emotional as well as practical reasons—because they value the peace of mind these products provide. With 65% of home burglaries occurring between 6am and 6pm, homeowners take comfort in the knowledge that their loved ones and valuables are protected while they are away at work or school. By focusing on peace of mind, as opposed to fear of break-ins, dealers can make the purchase of smart security products a positive buying experience for the homeowner.
In addition, most homeowners have the idea of protecting their home ingrained in their brains from childhood – from recognizing the importance of locking the door when leaving the house or going to bed at night, to always leaving some lights on when no one is home. Many first-time home buyers might have grown up using an alarm system, and an NAHB study showed that more than 50% of all buyers want a wireless security system. With consumers comfort levels for alarm systems already high, it’s not a far reach for many of these consumers to move toward the smart security ecosystem and affordable, easy-to-install and easy-to-use devices like smart locks.
Start With Smart Locks
Out of all the products that comprise the smart security ecosystem, from the smart doorbell to smart lighting, a case can be made that the smart lock is the optimal entry point for home automation sales:
- Located at the front door, the smart lock can easily become part of a consumer’s routine. Most people interact with their door multiple times a day, every day.
- The smart lock delivers maximum convenience by giving homeowners home automation control before they step in the house. It does this because:
- The smart lock can act as an extension of the central control hub. It can be used to wirelessly communicate with and control all the devices that comprise a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades, and just about everything else.
- Some smart locks can be controlled by any Web-enabled device. In so doing, they can provide access control from just about anywhere: from the front door, from any room in the house, or from a vacation resort in the Caribbean.
- Owners of smart locks can store their key in a safe, out of the way place, because they can use a personal user code to enter the home. They can also assign a time-sensitive user code to whoever might need one, -- a neighbor, contractor, healthcare worker or whoever -- and delete it when they see fit.
- Smart locks connected to a home automation system can maintain an audit trail of information about their use and deliver it to a controlling device. Homeowners can be notified via text message when their loved ones arrive home safely, or when the painters came and when they left.
In a Smart Door Lock Market Assessment, Denise Ernst, Park Associates VP said, “In addition to security, smart locks provide peace of mind and convenience through access control and notifications of use. These smart home solutions can also expand their capabilities by integrating with smart speakers with voice assistants, adding to the positive user experience.”
Most importantly, for home technology professionals, smart locks are a central component of a smart home ecosystem. They also present dealers, integrators and installers with the opportunity to upsell the customer to additional connected-home products, a smart security ecosystem, or even a complete network of connected home automation devices. It is a safe and secure bet that by taking advantage of this opportunity, dealers and integrators will be able to expand their home automation business and grow their sales.
As North American Sales Manager for Kwikset Residential Access Solutions, Nick English is responsible for management of all sales and distribution through Pro Security channels, including sales and performance management of Territory Sales Managers and Key Account Managers. English creates, develops, and manages division strategy for the Security / Home Automation channels, and the associated National Accounts, Direct Accounts, and Distribution partners and installing dealers within each channel.