Share of electrical installers installing smart and connected products on the rise

Electrical installers have always worked with cables, wiring, switches, lighting, enclosures etc., but now also smart and connected products are being installed more and more. More than half of the electrical installers in Europe already work with smart and connected products. The Q4 2017 report of the European Electrical Installation Monitor, covering the theme ‘Smart Buildings & Connectivity’ gives many insights, like the fact that smart and connected buildings and products are on the rise and the future role of the installer will be influenced by the distinction between easy and complex products/systems. USP Marketing Consultancy has interviewed 1,200 electrical installers in seven European countries by phone for this research.

Smart and connected buildings and products on the rise

Electrical installers believe that smart buildings have the future in almost all investigated countries. In some countries like Germany (83%) the share of installers working with smart products is higher than in other countries like Poland (24%). Installers experience an increasing demand from the end consumer who is better informed. Furthermore they see that the connection of products to the internet also brings more convenience for the installers themselves. This saves time and is cost efficient for the electrical installer, thus they can be more efficient.

Future role installer differs between easy to install versus complex products

For the future it can be expected that a further distinction between easy to install products (mainly residential) and more difficult smart installations will exist (both non-residential and high-end residential). Already quite a lot easy to install smart products, like NEST and TOON, are on the market which enables the end-consumers to install the products without any help of a professional. This will be more convenient for the consumer. High-end solutions will more often be installed by professionals, like electrical installers and home automation specialists.

Manufacturer has serious choices to make in the future

The increasing demand could lead to adjustments in the strategy of the manufacturers towards the electrical installers. The way of supporting installers in understanding how to install the more complex systems and make smart products part of their portfolio is one of them. Also following the fact that more electrical installers will install more complex products, it can be profitable for manufacturers to support the installers in giving advice and a better service directly to the end-consumer. It will be interesting to see whether manufacturers in the (near) future focus more on easy to install products or more complex products.

Conclusion

European electrical installers are already installing more smart products and connected products. There is an increase in demand of the end-consumer. The distinction between easy to install and more complex products will trigger the need for manufacturers to make choices. It will be interesting to track the direction towards easy or complex products. When easy-to-install products are more often being installed, manufacturers should consider another strategy towards the electrical installer. Consumers could also install the easy to install products themselves, but the more high-end smart solutions and integrated systems will more often done by a professional.