Retail and tech consultant David Chivers posted an article on LinkedIn last week (Nov. 6) on the impact of the "Internet of things" on retail.
He quoted Kevin Meagher, VP for Smart Home at Lowe's, who said, "Connected home is the first truly new category that Lowe's has added in nearly 20 years."
Connected home is the first truly new category that Lowe's has added in nearly 20 years.Kevin Meagher, VP for Smart Home, Lowe's
And the category is growing quickly. Just last week, we saw reports of Amazon's new entry to the connected home: the Amazon Echo speaker/assistant. Amazon is not blazing a new trail here: Google has its Nest thermostats in many homes; Apple has Apple TV in even more homes. And there are a number of competitors in the streaming TV space as well: Google's new Nexus Player (as well as Google Chromecast), Amazon Fire TV, and Roku to name a few...
We've blogged many times about connected cars and obviously connected home appliances (pictured above) have become commonplace too.
Wireless retailers can occupy space between consumers and all their connected devices -- it's a natural fit.
The growth of this space was forecasted by many, including then-Brightstar-CEO (now Sprint CEO) Marcelo Claure at the 2012 iQmetrix Summit. Claure urged wireless retailers to "be the wireless specialist that understands the customers' needs and can offer a complete solution for all their connected needs."
Claure was talking about how wireless retailers can occupy space between consumers and all their connected devices -- wireless retailers sell the smartphones around which a user's Internet of things revolves. It's a natural fit.
(Wireless retailers) can be the CONNECTED CENTER for (their) customers.Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO, at the 2012 iQmetrix Summit
Below are a few more highlights from Claure's Summit keynote:
- "Learn from a company like Apple: They truly understand the needs of their customers.
- Omnichannel/ecosystem experience: Paying with iTunes, personal pick-up service, in-store return of online purchases (or vice-versa)
- Apple is innovative and they must be doing something right: $4,000 in sales/square foot (in 2012)."
- "We need to make sure we are set up to drive multiple connections."
- "You can be the CONNECTED CENTER for your customers."
Now is an exciting time for electronics retailers. The key for wireless retailers is to offer the hardware, and more importantly the know-how, to get people buying into the Internet of things.