Security dealers and integrators are recognizing that consumers increasingly rely on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to control home security, automation and energy management services. Alarm.com, a provider of interactive security solutions, has evidence to support this trend.
Alarm.com has been developing interactive solutions for its security partners since its founding in 2000. Leading the way in Web-based and mobile services, Alarm.com has delivered new technology and experiences to the market and continues to innovate and grow its end user base with its key partners. Those end users, as Alarm.com has uncovered, offer a great deal of insight into consumer behaviors and the usage of interactive services. Based on the analysis of hundreds of thousands of interactive service customers powered by Alarm.com, tracked behavioral trends reveal mobile access as the fastest growing trend in residential security today.
The progression continues to grow with the ubiquity of mobile devices. When the very first Alarm.com app was released in the spring of 2009, the vast majority of logins to an Alarm.com interactive account were through the Alarm.com website. It was a year later, when additional device options for the Alarm.com app became available, that logins averaged 50 percent collectively through mobile apps and 50 percent through the dedicated website. Today, more than 75 percent of remote access events for Alarm.com interactive service accounts are through a mobile app.
This shift in consumer behavior is driven both by the explosive adoption of mobile devices and the availability of dynamic apps and services for end users to unlock additional value from their security system. Usage trends are not limited to monitoring security events that occur in the home, but also extend to a range of relevant day-to-day interactive services such as receiving motion-triggered video clips when kids arrive home from school, alerts when cabinets are accessed, or the ability to remotely adjust thermostats, lights and door lock settings. It is a behavioral change that presents a new opportunity and should not be lost on security dealers and integrators. Mobile connection to the security system has proven to be a successful way to improve retention of existing customers, drive new customer acquisition, deliver additional revenue-generating services, and differentiate a product offering as new entrants hit the market.
Based on Alarm.com’s interactive account examination, as well as market analysis, there are several factors security dealers and integrators should consider when it comes to interactive services through mobile devices:
Mobile apps help close sales – Increasingly, feedback from Alarm.com partners is that one of the most powerful sales tactics is to show interactive system capabilities and features on a mobile device such as an iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone. This “mobile-first” approach in the sales cycle is more effective than showing mobile apps as a “nice-to-have” among a list of broader system features. Once prospective customers see how easy and convenient it is to use a free app to arm the system, adjust the lights or watch live video of their property, their perceived value increases dramatically and distances the product offering from that of competitors.
Mobile services keep customers “sticky” – In addition to helping dealers close more sales, the mobile app significantly drives day-to-day use of the system, in turn increasing customer stickiness and reducing customer attrition. In fact, analysis conducted by Alarm.com in 2011 confirmed a direct correlation between a consumer’s consistent interaction with their interactive security system and reduced attrition. Through an independent third party analysis, it was proven that customers with interactive accounts stay on longer than traditional security customers and those who are actively logging into their accounts via the Alarm.com website or mobile app attrite even less.
Mobile apps help meet rising consumer expectations – Current mobile trending shows people are not just becoming more comfortable with technology, but that they prefer the convenience of the mobile app to monitor and control home security system settings. Mobile apps enhance the value of the security platform and deliver access to key services consumers expect on-demand wherever they are, and from any device.
Mobility isn’t just about remote access – It would be reasonable to assume that customers are solely utilizing mobile devices remotely to monitor and interact with security, video, energy and automation functions. But dealers and integrators report that for many customers the mobile app offers much more. Customers appreciate the ability to change system settings, lock doors or turn off lights from the living room couch or bedroom rather than having to do so from a physical keypad. Mobile apps also offer a new level of awareness and comfort by enabling the user to stay connected and essentially extend the value of the security system.
Mobile apps can drive sales for other services – Mobile apps can expose customers to additional services anchored to the security platform, especially when used as a sales tactic for a whole home solution. The ease of controlling home energy and seeing video through the same platform can create higher system value as well as increase the opportunity to attach add-on services and generate more RMR. Mobile apps help drive sales for system-integrated services such as video, energy management and home automation.
The increasing adoption of smartphones opens a new opportunity to security dealers and integrators. Using mobile apps to showcase all available services in the sales cycle can help engage potential customers, capitalize on the new customer demand, and stay ahead in an increasingly competitive market. In today’s environment where consumers expect more and are willing to invest more in technology, mobile integration will easily demonstrate value and not only help to close sales, but also to keep customers engaged over time for more profitable, longer-standing accounts.
The Alarm.com mobile usage shows a clear and increasing trend of customer interest, increased engagement and lower attrition. New services and apps help drive consumer immersion and with the right strategy and tools, security dealers and integrators have the opportunity to propel new adoption and deepen the engagement with their customers creating more business potential in a growing market.