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Experiencing the smart home: John Lewis’ new try-before-you-buy tech space

To get shoppers to buy for the smart home, they first need to experience the smart home, says British department store John Lewis, as it bets big on the category with a new 1,000 sq ft space dedicated to it in its flagship London store.

John Lewis Smart Home-8

Unless you work in tech, or have an early adopter obsession with tech, the likelihood that you’ve seen a smart home in action is pretty slim. In fact, even then, your experience may still have been limited to a trade show floor or the odd piece of kit you’ve bought for your own place.

There’s no denying, however, there’s growing interest in this concept, and at the heart of that, a desire to know more about it.

British department store John Lewis has seen 18 times the number of shoppers searching for smart home-related products on its website compared to a year ago (December 2014 – December 2015) for instance. It’s for that reason it has set up a new experiential space dedicated to smart home technology and an Internet of Things (IoT) future, in its flagship Oxford Street store in London.

Designed to feel like a real-life setting with different rooms complete with home furnishings, the 1,000 sq ft area enables shoppers to see products that would otherwise just be boxed on shelves, in action in a contextual sense. The theory is that there’s a need with such new technology to really touch and experience it first-hand – and to have expert help available to assist with it too.

Head over to Forbes to read the full story, including detail of the product on show as well as John Lewis’ storytelling aims.

By Rachel Arthur

Rachel Arthur is Editor-in-Chief of Current Daily, the leading news source for fashion, retail and innovation, and the co-host of its weekly Innovators podcast. She otherwise serves as Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Current Global, a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion luxury and retail. By background she is an award-winning business journalist and consultant, contributing to titles including Wired, Forbes and Business of Fashion.

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