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.
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:
Control4 partner Nyce Control claims to have the tiniest ZigBee security sensors in the world. We don’t doubt it.
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.
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. Email Julie at [email protected]
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