NEW YORK: Lowe's, the home-improvement chain, is leveraging its combined scale and retail experience to create a differentiated position in the burgeoning smart home market.
Kevin Meagher, vp/gm, smart home at Lowe's, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) Mobile First, Mobile Everywhere conference in New York.
And he reported that the company's Iris range of products for the connected home – which faces competition from rivals in the tech space like Apple and Google, as well as various start-ups – has some distinct advantages.
One of these benefits relates to Lowe's extensive retail network and experience, making it a trusted source of products and information for consumers interested in exploring this rapidly-developing industry.
"Just because it's connected in the future, and there's technology behind it and it's connected in a new way, doesn't mean people are going to buy it from somewhere else," said Meagher. "It's going to come through our stores." (For more, including further details of the company's strategy, read Warc's Exclusive report: Lowe's prepares for the connected home.)
Many firms in this category are effectively attempting to create "walled gardens" by building products that are not compatible with those from other manufacturers – something Lowe's has actively moved against.
"We started to look at ways we could put simple hubs into homes: make things simple, make it affordable, make it scalable," said Meagher.
"We don't care which door lock you buy, which thermostat you buy, which light switch you buy. So we started to focus on trying to say to all our vendors: 'Bring us your connected devices, but make them all work through one app in one simple way'."
The organisation's considerable scale, Meagher told the ANA delegates, has also helped it pursue that objective.
"A company like Lowe's can actually go out there and build a platform if they'll adapt to deal with the technology. We can go out there and solve a problem in this marketplace.
"And we can do it more easily, because we buy $50bn-worth of stuff, so we can say to all our vendors, 'Look guys: let's all try and play together in this new space'."
Data sourced from Warc