Best Buy knows a good thing when it sees it.
Rewarded for its smart-home forays with strong comp-sale gains, the retailer has accelerated its connected inroads through a service-and-hardware partnership with Vivint, and a six-city test of complimentary in-home tech consults.
But now the No. 1 CE retailer is getting to the meat of the matter: Voice control, by the two leading lights of the technology.
Starting next month the chain will begin rolling out dedicated demo stations featuring Amazon Alexa and Google Home hardware to about 700 stores, along with an “enhanced” online presentation.
The displays, to be located upfront near the stores’ smart-home sections, will feature Amazon’s family of wireless Echo devices, including the new touch-screened Show, and the Google Home smart speaker.
According to Best Buy spokesman Shane Kitzman, the in-store “experiences” will also offer compatible products like Nest thermostats, Philips Hue lighting and the retailer’s own Insignia Smart Plug, which can be demonstrated by specially-trained Blue Shirt sales assistants.
The display sections, he said, are unique to Best Buy.
“We’re excited to work with Best Buy on this because their stores are one of the best places for customers to see, hear, and understand how these delightful Alexa experiences come together,” said Miriam Daniel, product director for Amazon Echo devices & experiences.
The Amazon Alexa demo station
Echoed Deirdre Findlay, Google’s global director, hardware marketing, “Working with Best Buy, we created an experience that brings to life how Google Home answers your questions, controls your devices, and helps you get more done in your home.”
The rollouts are expected to be completed by year’s end.
At home with Google Home