Online retail giant Amazon has announced a partnership with Lennar, a homebuilder, aimed at expanding the smart home business particularly home security services. The partnership will see Amazon launch a chain of showrooms known as Amazon Experience Centers across the model homes of Lennar with a view to boosting the sale of smart home products such as Amazon Dash Buttons. Additionally Amazon will also use the opportunity to sell other products and services for households including Prime Content on Fire TV.
According to Amazon the model homes will essentially be Alexa-enabled smart homes and this will demonstrate to customers the benefits of using the digital assistant to control all connected and electronic kit ranging from television to window binds to thermostat to lights.
Amazon Home Services
At the experience centers customers will also be in a position to order home services via Amazon Home Services which is a marketplace that can be used to hire in-home contractors to offer fixing, cleaning and other household services. Amazon will place specially trained employees at the experience centers.
Initially the centers will be available in Washington, D.C., Seattle, San Francisco, Orlando, Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta in around 15 model homes. Amazon will also be partnering with other home building companies to offer the service to more people.
“We are excited to extend our relationship with Lennar with the launch of Amazon Experience Centers. As one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, Lennar offers the potential to enable this experience within easy driving distance of millions of customers,” Amazon Services’ general manager, Bhavnish Lathia, said in a statement.
Besides the experience centers Amazon has made other moves aimed at bringing its virtual salesrooms and online marketplace to brick-and-mortar environments. Towards the end of 2017 Amazon introduced Go, a cashier-less store for instance. Additionally Amazon also acquired grocery retailer Whole Foods Market at a price of $13.7 billion increasing the number of physical retail outlets that the online retail giant now has.
From the arrangement Lennar will benefit from added exposure besides increasing the value of the homes it sells by offering premium packages such as the smart home extras. Before partnering with Amazon, Lennar had a partnership with Apple but switched sides recently due to the fact that in the deal with the online retailer devices from third parties besides Amazon’s are allowed as opposed to the deal with Apple where it was a closed ecosystem.