Mon, 15 Apr 2019

We caught up with our director of point of sale finance Andrew Barker to look at the opportunity presented by smart homes to the UK’s tech retailers.

Our homes are constantly getting smarter, with recent research suggesting that more than half of us (59%) will own at least one smart device in three years’ time – up from 26% today.

But smart homes don’t come cheaply. While hubs like the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini start at less than £50, the costs associated with the extra tech needed to build up a personal network can quickly mount up. Often, additional accessories like bulbs and doorbells are added into the mix – and that’s before you get to larger appliances like fridges and washing machines.

The price of this wide range of products can inevitably be very high. According to some sources a full smart home can cost up to £15,000 – or about the same as a new luxury kitchen. In reality, though, most homeowners pick and choose a smaller selection of smart devices based on the priorities in their own household.

The modular nature of smart homes make them a huge opportunity for savvy tech retailers. Consumers are often drawn in by the relatively low cost of smart hubs, making it possible to upsell a whole host of additional accessories they may not have previously considered, or convincing them to buy a smart object instead of a cheaper, ‘dumb’ alternative.

As a business, there are many things that retailers can do to prepare themselves for the upsell opportunity, but one element is key – ensuring they have access to a reliable, accessible retail finance package that they can offer to customers to help them buy the items they want and need.

Here at BNP Paribas Personal Finance we support tech retailers by providing a package which is flexible and affordable. We work in partnership with businesses to ensure they are supplying a product which meets the needs of their customers, while making sure that the money is lent responsibly and the customer is not overstretching.

This can include interest free plans and deferred payments, as well as a secure online account management system which enables them to log in and manage their payments quickly and simply. They can also go back in store and add new purchases to an existing plan – meaning they can return again and again to build their dream set up.

Retailers that adapt to offer flexible financing options to customers who are looking to build a smart home can thrive if they adapt through this period of technological change and the opportunities that come with it. The period of the smart home, it would seem, is only just beginning.

For more information on the retail finance solutions we offer, please click here.