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How Physical Retailers Can Cash In On The IoT Boom

The Internet of Things (IoT), the tech trend that’s bringing network connectivity to everyday physical objects, is growing rapidly in popularity. But the boom is leaving the analog-era baby boomers behind.

At the same time, brick-and-mortar retailers are looking for new ways to compete with online retailers. Could IoT tech-support services be an opportunity of the future? 

Consulting firm Park & Associates estimates that U.S. tech support accounts for $30 billion in annual revenue, and that 60 percent of consumers believe having professional tech support available is highly valuable. With the success of companies like Hello Tech and Geekatoo, two growing tech support businesses that recently announced a merger, it’s clearer than ever: on-demand tech support is big business.

Boomers have the means to purchase the latest connected gadgets, but the fear of being unable to use these devices often keeps them from buying. Instead, they opt for more traditional options that lack new features. That’s a lost opportunity for boomers and retailers.

Many retailers offer basic tech support, setup and installation, but the growing number of IoT devices on the market means there’s a need for a different level of support. How does a retailer create and maintain that kind of service? One solution would be to partner with a third-party provider that has the expertise to launch quickly while keeping costs down.

A great IoT support partner should have:

* Experience in supporting the latest tech

* The ability to scale a solution that fits the size of your business

* A proven track record of customer satisfaction

* 24/7 support

Not only do boomers have the means to afford IoT technology, but they also are more likely to pay for additional IoT support. As IoT goes mainstream, that’s a win for both consumers and retailers. Consumers get the support they need to feel confident about buying the latest tech while retailers gain increased revenue and develop deeper relationships with their customers.

Ahmed Khaishgi is CEO of SquareTrade, the award-winning extended warranty provider for CE and home appliance products.