Cologne, 21.–24.02.2021 #IEM2021

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Smart Home: Strong opportunities in a demanding market

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The refrigerator automatically generates shopping lists. For a cosy get-together, the suitable lighting for the right mood adjusts itself and the living temperature is set to pleasant in any weather. Despite its many practical everyday applications, the smart home is still a niche market. But that is likely to change. Above all, retailers with a high level of consulting expertise can benefit in this demanding market.

The intelligently networked home has been a megatrend for years - and everybody would love to have a piece of that cake. At least theoretically. In fact, so far only a technically open-minded minority of early adopters have turned their houses into a smart home. Most consumers use individual smart tools at best or even tend to be rather skeptical. There are good reasons for this: The variety of products can be quite mind-boggling, and even basic technologies are not always compatible with each other. In addition, many users have data protection concerns, others fear hacker attacks or do not want to depend on technology.

A challenging environment with many opportunities

In other words, the smart home market is highly complex, yet the trend is clearly upwards. According to Statista , experts expect an annual sales growth of 13.4 percent until 2024. Demand is particularly high for intelligent household appliances, smart entertainment and solutions for energy supply and lighting. The results are promising opportunities for manufacturers and retailers, especially in these areas:

- Home automation (e.g. control, regulation and monitoring technology)

- Consumption measurement (e.g. smart meter)

- Automation (e.g. automatic locking systems)

- Security (e.g. intelligent smoke and motion detectors, warning systems, fresh air, health and baby monitoring technology)

Consulting competence is called for

"Smart products are individual products that must be tailored to the customer," emphasizes the Zentralverband Hartwarenhandel e.V. (ZHH). Given the variety of products and the skepticism of many consumers, the need for proper consultation is high. Retailers who score points with their detailed product knowledge and advisory skills who can convince potential customers of the advantages of intelligent home networking have the best chances of success. After all, if planned and configured correctly, the smart home makes everyday life easier - and is even sustainable. For example, intelligently controlled ventilation and blinds lower the temperature in the house and save expensive air conditioning systems with high energy consumption.

And what do you think?

What experiences have you had with home networking? What do your customers value? What do you think are the most interesting application scenarios for the smart home? Share your insights - and experience innovative smart home solutions at the INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR in Cologne from February 21 to 24, 2021.