Tapping into the growing desire for seamless services and brand empathy, US electronics retailer Best Buy has launched a proprietary Internet of Things (IoT) service for the smart home called Assured Living.
The service provides peace of mind for family members in the US with elderly relatives living alone. A suite of cameras, motion sensors and artificially intelligent devices recognise their routines and monitor different aspects of the home, informing family members of any abnormalities or problems via the Best Buy Assured Living app.
The project is a further example of smart retailers’ awareness of the need for a supportive approach (as explored in Empathetic Brand Engagement). It also shrewdly dovetails with the growing number of connected devices in play, with 20.4 billion predicted to be in use by 2020 (Gartner, 2017). See also Internet of Home Comforts.
Assistance for the elderly is becoming especially pertinent as populations of developed countries continue living well into old age. Elderly people accounted for 27.3% of Japan’s population in 2016 (Ministry of Internal Affairs, 2016), while in the US, nearly 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each day over the next 15 years (SeniorCare, 2016).
For more on gravitating towards a protective brand mindset, see Retail Concepts Nurturing New Parents and Purchasing Peace of Mind in The Supportive Sell. For more on using the IoT to get involved in retail’s undoubtedly service-led future, see Wraparound Retail: IoT Engagement in our Liquid Retail Industry Trend, publishing on September 25.