Hardware Retailing

SEP 2016

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | September 2016 86 Selling smart home devices requires many of the same skills required to sell any category in the store—good merchandising and product knowledge. But it's important to know some of the specific needs customers have in this category. Show, Don't Just Tell There's an easy answer to why most consumers these days buy smart home devices from brick-and-mortar retailers: They want to see them and ask sales staff a lot of questions. This is another reason independent home improvement retailers have the opportunity to outsell big-box retailers in this category. Your store can have the experts shoppers want. The more customers interact with a product, and the more they hear about the experiences of others who have tried the product themselves, the more likely they are to purchase it. That's the driving principle behind Target's Open House concept. By showing smart home products in the context of real-life situations, the company hopes to demystify the connected home and inspire consumers to buy. You can carry this concept into your own store by using working displays to show how smart home products work. If, for example, you're selling smart locks, let your employees install the app that controls the lock on their smartphones so they can show customers how the lock operates. In addition, the idea of installing a high-tech device in the home may not seem like an easy DIY project to some. However, most products are easy to install. Make sure this is a part of the sales conversation, even if a customer doesn't directly express hesitation about the installation process. Try it Before You Sell it Williams has several smart home products in his home, many of which are now in Fresno Ag Hardware. He also encourages employees to try How to Sell It " It's also important that employees understand not only how the individual product works, but also how that product interconnects with other products in the system. " —Ian Williams, Fresno Ag Hardware

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