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Smart home products are rolling out in the masses as consumers look for ways to simplify their daily lives. Many low-cost solutions are on the rise and retailers play a major role in their adoption. As a retailer, it can be easy to throw new products on the shelf and leave it be, but smart home products need a little extra attention to help educate consumers on the benefits of smart appliances, lights, etc. to empower their purchasing decision. We’ve created a smart home “lay of the land” that explains what types of products are on the cutting edge, what trends are piquing consumer interest, and how retailers and manufacturers can work together to increase consumer adoption.

DIY solutions on the rise

It’s a common fear that smart home products will be difficult to set up and use, but in reality these products are designed to make life easier. Today’s first-time home buyers are often young tech-savvy consumers looking to the internet for the latest and greatest smart home products – so it’s imperative that retailers don’t miss out on this opportunity to sell. Some retailers may be concerned about the price points of DIY products and often hesitate to invest in inventory, but the key to selling smart home products in a DIY environment is merchandising. The consumer needs to quickly be able to see and understand the product in order to make a purchasing decision, which means smart home product manufacturers and retailers should work together to develop creative merchandising vehicles.

Smartphones provide a more hands-on consumer experience

Consumers rely on their smartphones for more than just checking email, making calls or texting. With the continued rise in smart home applications, consumers have the power to monitor the home (and loved ones) from the palm of their hand. You can control the temperature in specific rooms, keep an eye on the leftovers in your fridge, turn on/off the lights, potentially scare off an intruder or open your garage door, just to name a few. Up until recently, these products seemed unattainable to the average consumer. Now, retailers have the power to sell these products in stores and need to offer customers the solutions that continue to further connection.

Consumers are beginning to realize that smart home products are more than just gadgets

Smart home products have practical value and meaningful benefits outside of just being cool and convenient. They can provide benefits to your life, like increased security, convenience from outside the home and a real-time pulse on what’s happening at your home. The majority of consumers install smart home systems for increased security, which typically provides peace-of-mind during the decision-making process because people want to feel safe and secure in their homes. More than ever, as the number of smart home security products rapidly increase, customer reviews are a great source of intelligence for new consumers making their first smart home purchase.

Consumers are looking to better connect smart home products

As people begin to adapt to smart home life, the gadgets can become difficult to manage. Smart home products are often scattered around the house (inside and out) – smart fridge, smart thermostat, smart lightbulbs, smart sprinkler systems, smart security systems and locks, etc. Consumers are looking for a central control point for all their smart home gadgets, que Amazon Echo and Alexa, which has now made talking to your house a norm. As Apple, Amazon and Google allow more and more devices to integrate with their control centers, retailers need to be making those devices available to consumers. In the end, the consumer will ultimately decide which smart home products and platforms fit their needs. Everyone has their own opinion about products, but it’s important for retailers to provide different options for consumers, and retailers that stock the best assortment of smart home products will maximize the opportunity for growth – they will be the winners in this rapidly growing and expanding new product category.

Understanding the landscape of the ever-changing smart home industry will help retailers make clear decisions about the types of products to offer in this category. We may be biased, but smart home security products are one of the easiest and lowest risk purchases for consumers to start with when transitioning the home.