GoMo rant: You can’t sell the IoT on the High Street

Brits won’t buy a connected fridge from Dixons Carphone

about the customer experience -heywood

Here at GoMo Towers we have been mulling over the implications of the proposed merger between two of the UK’s High Street giants: – the Dixons Group and the Carphone Warehouse. Now it makes a great deal of sense to merge two of the most common shops on the High Street – the mobile phone shop and the electrical retailer. The businesses are fairly complimentary. What worries us, however, are the comments made in favour of the merger which point to the Internet of Things [IoT] as being an area where the new group might enjoy an advantage. It seems the financial markets agree us because the following day shares in Dixons closed down 5.23 at 45.67p, while Carphone fell 26.5 to 301.3p.

The retailers want to combine Dixons white goods with Carphone’s smartphone and tablet packages to offer shoppers household products ready for the IoT era.

This could include heating, security and lighting systems that are all operated from one smartphone – making it the ultimate remote (controller).

“Together we can create a seamless experience for our customers that will enable technology to deliver what it promises – that is, to make their lives better,” commented Dixons CEO, Sebastian James.

But we just can’t see it. No Brit actually wants an Internet screen on the front of his or her fridge/freezer. They are simply not mounted at the right height for this.

If you want to control the central heating via a smartphone app, you’re going to get the software from your power company – not Dixons Carphone.

The IoT might have expanded its potential beyond the original machine-to-machine (M2M) days to take in some home appliances.

But it is – the content provider who will drive you to change your set-top box so you can control it via a smartphone – not a High Street retailer.

We agree with Paul Heywood, director for EMEA with Dyn who thinks the major challenge for the pair lies elsewhere – in creating a good customer service experience.

“The merger will provide profitable gains for the businesses, but only if the retailers work together to ensure that the customer experience does not suffer as a result of these two brands merging,” heywood observed.

He added,” With the right technology they can control the customer experience, maximise market size, reduce operating costs and time to market.”

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
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