Smart home is currently a trendy topic in the technology industry. For some customers, however, the idea of smart home and the perception towards smart home devices sometimes are not definitely user-friendly.
Smart home is currently a trendy topic in the technology industry. For some customers, however, the idea of smart home and the perception towards smart home devices sometimes are not definitely user-friendly. For example, whether the technical languages is hard to understand, or if user’s privacy are fully protected.
Product Adopted:Lighting & Climate Control
The Dutch-based family-owned company Trust, tackles the concern with one insistence – retail training. Although the company doesn’t operate retail stores on its own, Trust emphasizes the communication between employees at retails and customers. It believes that offering proper knowledge on smart home devices is a key point to stay in the business and develop markets.
“We visited 160 retail shops in the Netherlands, gave training and asked people ‘what is the problem that you see, how can we sell more, and what to do to develop the market?’,” said Rene Panman, Sales Manager of Trust. And this, makes the company one of the big players in the European smart home market.
Founded in 1983, Trust was known for manufacturing computer accessories and entered the smart home market 10 years ago from selling remote controls and sockets. Five years ago, it launched its first gateway product and later smart lighting devices with the acquisition of KlikAanKlikUit, who are specialized in lighting controls. As for the multiple communication protocols in the market, Trust selected ZigBee 3.0 as it is widely applied in smart lighting whereas Z-Wave is applied more for security products.
The company’s smart home product portfolio includes sockets, remote controls, switches, built-in modules for the ceiling, built-in modules for the behind-wall switches, motion sensors and beacon for indoor, which allows it to dominate the European home DIY market. In the near future, Trust plans to add outdoor beacons, smoke detector, water leakage sensor, temperature and humidity sensor into its smart home product line.
The emerging voice control will also be considered by Trust. Its products currently support Triggi, the IFTTT in Europe which connects IoT devices together. For example, when user’s email comes in, it will trigger colorful smart light bulb to become blue. Triggi is already supporting Alexa commands as well.
To make a closer integration, the company is now developing direct connections with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. However, Panman said that integration with other voice-control platforms, such as Apple HomeKit, is still under evaluation.
In addition to making good products, Trust takes user experiences into highly consideration. Besides previously mentioned retail training example, the company also owns in-house app developers, enabling it to create a unified user experience from hardware to software.
Talking about new market expansions, Panman said that the company is “always looking for distributors in countries that can make a difference, give training, and are willing to invest in the concept” as consumers still need to be educated.
A new market draws attention and its customers need great communication on related knowledge. With the retail rule, Trust will maintain its Europe focus and look for possible outreach to other continents as well.