Best Buy, Sears Tap Into Connected Home Market

There is a gap in the connected home market and Best Buy and Sears are trying to close it.

Most consumers expect there to be at least one smart home device in every house by 2025 and they need setup to be as easy as a cable TV, according to a recent study by TNS for Intel.

Best Buy is aiming to facilitate just that with its new connected home consulting program. Currently a pilot in Atlanta, San Antonio and Austin, the program sends an in-home specialist to a consumer’s home to consult for free.

The in-home advisor, as Best Buy calls them, provides education on new technologies and their possible benefits and ultimately creates a custom tailored solution for the homeowner, along with associated purchase information. If the homeowner moves forward, the advisor then takes on a concierge-like role in managing all of the deliveries, installations and third-party services needed.

“We are investing to make it easy for customers to learn about and enjoy the latest technology as they pursue their passions and take care of what is important to them in their lives,” said Hubert Joly, CEO of Best Buy, in the company’s quarterly earnings report.

“With our combination of digital, store and in-home assets, we feel we have a great opportunity to address key customer pain points, build stronger ongoing relationships with our customers and unleash growth opportunities,” he said.

However, Best Buy isn’t the only player steering consumers toward the connected home.

Sears is tackling IoT in the home from an ecosystem-wide perspective with its portfolio of connected home devices under the Kenmore and Craftsman brands.

“We're unleashing the power of these iconic brands by entering into these new categories and introducing connected home solutions that provide peace of mind -- saving time, energy and money,” said Tom Park, president of Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard. Sears recently announced additional connected home offerings across a broad range of uses, driven by smartphones. New products include:

  • A refrigerator that sends push notifications
  • A washer and dryer with custom cycles that can be downloaded and run remotely
  • Smart thermostat
  • Connected garage door with video monitoring
  • Tool storage units that can be locked and unlocked with a smartphone

Sears is expanding its connected home offerings in an effort to provide consumers with a one-stop-shop for connected home brands, according to Ryan Ciovacco, president of consumer electronics and connected living at Sears Holdings.

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