The Advisory Board for the Smart Channels Summit met on Friday 7th November in Paris. We were getting ready for the event which will take place at DISTREE in Monaco on 26th February 2015. The photo shows us having a pause before lunch in the fabulous surroundings of the Maison Amerique Latine in Paris. The Summit will address best practices in the sale of wearables and connected devices in a context of explosion of consumer demand for these products.
The key reason for bringing together in an Advisory Board eminent people from the ICT world is to make sure that we are asking the right questions.
So here are some questions we will be addressing:
• Which retailers are going to win out – those who are strong on technology or those that are strong in installation, service and support? ICT Retailers cannot ignore the threat of DIY retailers as well as energy and telecom companies as a route to market
• In a world of connected devices with manufacturers connecting directly to the end user, how does retail continue to own the customer relationship? Should they be investing in creating their own hub system for connected products like Lowes and Staples?
• What can retailers working together with vendors and distributors do to generate demand for connected devices? Who drives the merchandising? Is it up to the retailer or the vendor or both?
• How much education is necessary for the consumer? Do retailers plan to invest in more training of store employees in order to equip them to sell connected devices?
• With a multiplicity of technical solutions available on the market how do retailers bring it all together to make a coherent whole for the consumer? How do retailers ensure that the solutions they propose are a long-term proposition allowing for future upgrades and additions to the home?
• By the time of the conference in Feb 2015, we will have the experience of Christmas 2014, and the launch of the Apple iWatch – will smart watches finally emerge as a killer category? Is it all about the apps like the iPhone introduction?
• Do connected products and wearables offer the possibilities to retailers of new private label products?