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Control4 Launches E-Commerce for Itself, Partners

Sony, SurgeX, Luxul, Current Audio among 16 custom brands for sale through Control4’s new online marketplace, where you can also buy C4's own home automation gear.


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In addition to Control4’s home automation products, dealers can buy products from 16 partner vendors via C4’s new e-commerce site.

An e-commerce site for home control products is hardly anything new, but Control4 is doing something novel with its new online marketplace.

Not only is Control4 selling its own products through the dealer-only site, it is selling products from a growing list of other custom vendors.

Launching today, the new store features products from these vendors, with more to come throughout the year:

AV Switches
Leaf Audio
NeoPro
Zektor

Receivers
Sony

Projectors
Sony

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Control4 partner Nyce Control claims to have the tiniest ZigBee security sensors in the world. We don't doubt it.
Security/Access Control
Nyce Control
Kwikset
Baldwin
Yale
Card Access

Media Players/Servers
Dune
Fusion Research
Grace Digital

Power Products
SurgeX

Networking
Symmetry Wireless
Luxul

Speakers
Current Audio

Dealers Can Buy Anytime, Anywhere


Control4 hasn’t had an e-commerce site in the past, and it’s coming out with a bang. I had the opportunity to preview the application, and it’s a very good e-commerce site to begin with – take Amazon.com or other standard online shopping places and Control4’s platform is pretty similar.

The real novelty comes at the back-end, where Control4 has integrated purchasing for its vendor partners. Any Control4-authorized dealer can purchase any marketplace product from the site, “even the new 4K projector from Sony,” says Control4 marketing SVP Susan Cashen.

Control4 doesn’t stock the products, but it has built the communications infrastructure for each vendor partner, which must abide by strict rules established by Control4.

“Vendors have a strict deadline for communications with dealers,” says Cashen. “For example, they must let them know about back-orders or shipping delays in a timely fashion.”

Control4 is offering its e-commerce service only for “third-party products that have been tested and certified to interoperate within the Control4 operating system,” says CEO Martin Plaehn. “What better way to showcase our commitment to interoperability than by offering our dealers easy access to the products that we know will deliver a great experience for their customers.”

Plaehn says the initiative is just one more service aimed at making it easier for dealers to do business with Control4, one of his top priorities since taking the helm in 2011.

In February 2012, for example, Control4 announced generous new warranty and RMA programs. Control4 enhanced its standard two-year product warranty by providing a factory-reconditioned replacement in the second year, rather than requiring a dealer to ship products back for repair. Also, under its new return merchandise authorization policy, Control4 began offering free return freight for replacement products.

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Article Topics

News · Business Resources · Home Automation and Control · Control Systems · Events · ISE · Control4 · Leaf Audio · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.

9 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Chris DePaola  on  06/01  at  10:23 AM

Why?  If you a C4 dealer your already going to have manufacturer direct access to these products or will be working with a distributor already, with better pricing.

Posted by jeffl012  on  06/01  at  10:24 AM

SmartLabs - Smarthome.com has been doing this for years with its Insteon product line.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  06/01  at  04:07 PM

I was told mfrs had to make the best pricing available through C4. A lot of the partner vendors are nichey and don’t have a decent e-commerce site.

Posted by Mark D  on  06/01  at  08:06 PM

I can see this as a nice advantage to some dealers. Takes the guesswork out what works with C4, and hard to argue that it will save some time compared to ordering from 10 different vendors for one job.

Posted by JonnyD  on  06/02  at  11:55 PM

@  jeffl012 Control4 is not making claims that they are the first to sell electronics online. The whole point to this article is to announce that instead of dealers having to email or call during business hours to purchase products strictly from Control4, that they now have the option to purchase any time, online and save some time and perhaps money by ordering partner products while they are at it. Sorry jeffl012 you are sounding a bit like a troll. blank stare

Posted by janderson  on  06/04  at  06:26 AM

Not a C4 dealer but this is cool idea. No different that Snap with its outside vendors. If it is easier to order it makes life easier for their dealers.

Posted by 39CentStamp  on  06/04  at  08:55 AM

Why is this so cool? Because integrators are tired of spending weeks just trying to put together orders and then more time receiving them and more time making sure you got everything and more time making sure you are not being billed twice or three times.

Posted by SheHateMe  on  06/05  at  08:07 AM

@Julie
Uh, I’m pretty sure that there are dozens of distributors who have websites that allow you to buy products from multiple vendors.  This doesn’t really seem news worthy.  I did like the bit about how it is easier to return broken crap to C4, seems like customers would like that.  Do you write articles when they release bug fixes too?  I can see the headline now “Control 4 now with working equipment.”

Also, I’m wondering why anyone needs a website when all of theses products are available at your local Best Buy?

Posted by ehedin  on  06/06  at  03:06 AM

Control 4 is a good starter integration package and probably more than a few Control 4 dealers don’t have good distribution channels yet so the idea is smart. It makes it easier for a start-up dealer to immediately start selling and integrating and we know anybody who wants Control 4 can have it…

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