Vivint partners with Best Buy

Partnership will help Vivint’s branding and exposure
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

PROVO, Utah—A new partnership between Vivint and Best Buy will allow consumers to shop for Vivint smart home products in a physical store, in the same way they can purchase other consumer electronics, and the smart home and security company plans to be in more than 400 Best Buy stores by the end of October.

Previously, a potential smart home customer “had to have somebody meet them in the home and knock on the door, or they’d have to call in. So, this is the chance to shop for it in a retail environment,” Colby Winegar, vice president of strategic business development for Vivint Smart Home, told Security Systems News.

Vivint sales representatives will be showcasing security as well as the smart home. “Every solution we sell actually has security with it. They buy a service that has security and then they add-on smart home products to it, just like we do in our other channels,” Winegar said.

Vivint and Best Buy first started talking when Vivint first exhibited at CES in 2016, according to Winegar. In the following months the two companies noticed similarities in company cultures and their approaches to the smart home, he said.

“We felt like the best way to [work together] was to do a pilot, and we did that in October in San Antonio,” said Winegar. “We’re now at 23 stores. So, now we’re going to roll out to over 400 stores.” Vivint will be ramping up this effort in July, he noted.

Each store will have a display about 10 feet by 15 feet, with a door that is surrounded by smart home products, such as outdoor cameras, door locks, alarm panels, indoor cameras and motion sensors, Winegar said. “What’s great about this is now a customer could actually see what it would look like if it’s installed in their home and see what the product is and interact with it.”

This approach tackles several barriers that inhibit mass-market smart home adoption, Winegar said. For example, customers can have difficulty visualizing use cases. “In this scenario, you can see the use cases,” he said. 

Another barrier is showing consumers how devices work together; consumers at a retail store can now see how a video doorbell will work to unlock a smart lock, Winegar pointed out.

“Once you see all of that, then the customer says ‘Wow, this look really interesting, I like how all of this works together—how do I afford this?’” Winegar said. Best Buy customers will have several payment and financing options including the option to purchase devices upfront and pay for services separately.

The partnership will also help with the company’s exposure, Winegar said. “We haven’t pushed branding for our company … to be like a house-hold name. Getting exposure in Best Buy stores will be really helpful for our brand.”