HFN – Amazon’s latest initiative seems to be a smart move: offering consumers free in-home smart home consultations to help consumers navigate through the myriad technology products and services available now for the home.
Amazon employees—not contractors—conduct the 45-minute consultations, Amazon said on its site. Besides determining what the consumer wants in terms of technology—from saving money on one’s utility bills and/or automating home features—consultants will also assess the home’s Wi-Fi signal strength and demo products such as the Echo Dot, Philips Hue lights and TP link plugs, as well as voice-control through Amazon Alexa, the site said. The consultant will conclude with smart home recommendations and provide a personalized list of products, though the consumer is under no obligation to buy.
Amazon’s new service allows it to “gain traction in this area,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at Boston Retail Partners, as smart home technology can be confusing for consumers, both in terms of set up and what they need among the number of products now available. While he didn’t know if the service was cost effective, Naumann believed Amazon saw it as more of “first mover advantage,” allowing them to gain a foothold in this area in the home. And the personalized approach is the best way to do that, as everyone’s home environment has different needs, he added.
This service also needs to have the right people with right skills, Naumann added, “so there are no missteps.” But it looks like Amazon thought that through and has hired qualified people to do these consultations, he said.
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