The category of the year in consumer electronics is the smart home—but it’s hardly something new. It’s actually been around for decades. Think microwaves and remote-controlled garage doors. But today’s options are more tech-driven and expansive, affording consumers exciting new ways to automate, control, and manage aspects of their daily lives.

The connected home includes smart speakers, entertainment products, connected lighting, smart thermostats, and home monitoring and security systems which are all expected to experience double-digit growth by 2022. By then, the smart home is forecast to total nearly 1.3 billion devices.

[Learn more about projected Consumer Technology revenue around the smart home and other key categories in CTA’s 2019 outlook release.]

It all starts with voice assistant technology powered by smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home and then extends out to a wide range of accessories and appliances in a constantly evolving ecosystem. From refrigerators that advise when foods are expiring to washing machines that can start a load during the most cost-effective time of day or night, to thermostats or lighting that can be adjusted from remote locations, the possibilities are limitless. The benefit is getting things done more efficiently, leaving more time to enjoy life.

Looking ahead, even advanced small home robotics are on the horizon. Many consumers are already familiar with household helpers like Roomba’s iRobot vacuum which can be operated by voice to clean up on command. Beyond domestic chores, robots may find other applications—entertainment, education, even companionship—but it’s still early on for this trend.

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At the forefront of consumer demand for smart homes are millennials—the largest segment of the population. This generation has grown up with technology and appreciates the convenience and connectivity it provides. Smart homes are also appealing to those who favor a “green” lifestyle since the technology can help save energy and costs on heating, cooling, lighting and water. Then there are boomers with elderly parents who are seeking smart home solutions to assist older folks with aging at home.

As more consumers seek out information, demos and deals for the smart home, retailers must be proactive to communicate the ease and functionality of this booming category. The goal is to put consumers in control of their home by helping them to evaluate their options, eliminate any frustrations, and identify products that offer efficiency, convenience and comfort.

The key is bundling solutions to simplify the smart home which is why New Age Electronics offers the robust program that it does. It includes exclusive SKUs, custom packaging, full home automation solutions, and more. Whether it’s a unique case or popular digital downloads, New Age has the offerings that consumers are hoping to find. Best of all, as a retailer, there is the freedom to mix and match brands and products to create customized solutions to set any business apart.

As the category of the year, there truly is no place like home. [For more information, visit https://www.synnexcorp.com/newageelectronics/build-a-box/]

Path To Success

Start with the home assistant
The cornerstone of the smart home, Amazon Alexa and/or Google Home, powers a smart speaker that serves as the command center for connectivity. From there, it extends out to a wide range of accessories and appliances in a constantly evolving ecosystem.

Work in peripherals
Home automation hubs, smart plugs, smart light bulbs and dimmers, wall switches, smart front door locks, smart coffee makers, alarm clocks, routers, thermostats, smart faucets, garage door openers—and more. These are all complements to major investments like the smart TV, smart refrigerator and smart washers and dryers.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match vendors
Building the best smart home possible is about being free from constraints. With the bundling program from New Age Electronics, you’re encouraged to mix and match brands for the ultimate smart home system to satisfy your consumers.

Solve the problem—show your customers how you can make their lives easier
The smart home gives the consumer the opportunity to run their home differently than they ever have before. It means more efficiency so there is more time to enjoy life. From refrigerators that can prepare a shopping list, to the ability to turn off the thermostat on the way to the airport, to preheating the oven on the way home from work—the options are endless.

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