Control & Automation

Integrator Tries Enjoy.com, the Quasi On-Demand Service for Sonos Installation

How can Enjoy.com be free? Integrator Mat Lindstedt of Silicon Valley Installation Co. ordered a Sonos system to find out.

How can Enjoy.com be free? Integrator Mat Lindstedt of Silicon Valley Installation Co. ordered a Sonos system to find out.

Julie Jacobson · April 27, 2016

Last July, when Enjoy.com was just launching, high-end home-technology integrator Mat Lindstedt gave the new on-demand service a try. The owner of Silicon Valley Installation Co. in San Jose, Calif., Lindstedt shared his experience with CE Pro back then.

We are sharing it now as a complement to the editorial in the May issue of CE Pro concerning home technology and the on-demand economy.

While Enjoy isn't an on-demand service as we know it -- you don't push a button on an app to beckon the nearest independent contractor -- but it offers at least a glimpse into the future of home-technology fulfilment.

Installation and training on Sonos, Apple TV, Philips Hue, simple networking gear, drones and other select devices is free. How can it be free? 

"It's super simple," says "Stew," a "Bay Area Expert" for Enjoy. "We don't have stores. And when you don't have stores, you don't have to pay for things like rent or electricity or maintenance or insurance. Aaaaaand, when you don't have to pay for things like [the aforementioned], you can afford to send out super-great experts to deliver your super-great products. For free. It's match. It's awesome."

Super simple, indeed.

After reading about Lindstedt's experience (thanks Gordon Van Zuiden for the introduction), we discussed Enjoy's business model. Here's his (correct) assessment.

It is a fascinating business model, and even though the manufacturers may be subsidizing the program, I still can't for the life of me figure out how they will ever be able to compete. As anyone in this business will tell you, it's very expensive to drive to a client home and set up anything without a lot margin in place to make it feasible.

Enjoy.com was founded in 2015 by Ron Johnson, the architect of the Apple Store and former CEO of JC Penney.

- Julie Jacobson


Mat Lindstedt, Silicon Valley Installation Co.

My Sonos ENJOY set up was interesting and fun. 

Two very nice people showed up on a Saturday morning at 10am..In separate cars. They actually were about 12 minutes early, but I watched them sit in their respective cars until 10am sharp. They came in with a very nice cloth tote bag along with my $199 Sonos Play 1. I told them they could set it up on my kitchen table while I "downloaded the Sonos App". And then I saw one of them notice my seven Sonos products through out my house and I told them that I was just interested in learning about ENJOY.

They had already completed 3 Sonos installs that week and as you can imagine had some good stories about clients knowing nothing about their routers, Wi-Fi passwords, firewalls, iTunes passwords, Pandora passwords, Spoitfy passwords, etc.

They had some funny stories about what its like to go into homes and teach them about electronics....For an hour....for free....at an exact time, not a window of time.

I asked the two lovely ENJOY people how they expect to ever be profitable (in my rolling of the eyes of course). They hummed and hawed and said that they expect to do lots of volume and people really need help setting up their equipment. Of course they had no clue on how to make money doing it. 

I taught them a few things about Sonos -- managed switches, Ethernet Storms, pairing up Sonos Connect Amps with rear speakers, what TOSLINK cables are ....

Clearly they were overwhelmed.

They left after one hour, having sold me one $199 product.that they might have made $49 profit on. I think the tote bag with the ENJOY logo is probably worth about $9. 

The funny thing is, there was no follow up. No user survey about my experience. No emails to get me to purchase more stuff. Nothing, And, except for the first day press I have heard nothing about ENJOY. 

Marc Andreessen should have just written me the check for $20 million. I could blow through it just as fast. 


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  About the Author

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 jjacobson@ehpub.com

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  Article Topics


Control & Automation · Audio/Video · News · Blogs · Products · Enjoy · Sonos · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by andrewinboulder on April 27, 2016

I hope you’re joking when you say you had to explain to them what a toslink was…

Posted by Joseph Kolchinsky on April 27, 2016

Mat, Julie - I agree on the surface there’s a lot that doesn’t make sense.  There’s a lot of time going into this one install - two people, two separate cars, probably 3.5 man hours total - on the surface it’s hard to imagine how they’ll make enough to compensate.

But let’s explore another angle:

The problem in the consumer tech industry right now is returns and penetration.  Companies like Sonos are quickly penetrating the tech-savvy market (a small sliver of the market) but plateauing with the rest of the market (very big).  Return rates for devices are rising (6-12% in 2014 according to the CTA) and 90% of those devices returned are actually in perfect working order (according to PlumChoice and Parks Associates) - some of that is buyer’s remorse, but most of it is related to unfamiliarity with the product and lack of support during setup.  For a company like Sonos that’s probably $50m+ in sales that are returned due to setup issues, nevermind the loss of future sales from those customers.

This is pretty bad!  The product is returned, the customer is unhappy, Sonos loses out on the lifetime value of that customer (presumably Sonos customers buy more than one device over several years and spread the good word about the brand), and Sonos actually loses money on the sale because they have to process the return (shipping, processing, etc).  There’s more with lost potential revenue - Parks Associates frequently discusses the fact that customers increasingly don’t buy consumer technology because they fear that setup is too difficult or they’ll need training they can’t get easily.

With all this in mind, I can imagine that it’s worthwhile for Sonos to pay $100 to prevent a returned $200 speaker and get another successful lifetime customer that they know will generate significantly more revenue over time.  It raises their average customer acquisition cost (CAC) but potentially enables them to achieve higher revenue numbers by both limiting returns and improving their brand.  I suspect Enjoy doesn’t always send two people for a simple Sonos install (one person was probably getting trained).  I think there are some margins in there to play with - at least enough to continue exploring this business model and figure out the future.  Fast forward 5 years when Enjoy might be a household name and many people think “I’ll just call Enjoy” when they run into a tech problem - there’s a lot that can be done with that kind of brand power.

I agree that there’s a lot to be figured out, but for all our sakes I hope they do it.  If Enjoy can find a profitable model here then they’ll drive the adoption of technology by the mass market and it will likely be better for the HTP.  All ships rise with the tide.

Posted by Joseph Kolchinsky on April 27, 2016

Mat, Julie - I agree on the surface there’s a lot that doesn’t make sense.  There’s a lot of time going into this one install - two people, two separate cars, probably 3.5 man hours total - on the surface it’s hard to imagine how they’ll make enough to compensate.

But let’s explore another angle:

The problem in the consumer tech industry right now is returns and penetration.  Companies like Sonos are quickly penetrating the tech-savvy market (a small sliver of the market) but plateauing with the rest of the market (very big).  Return rates for devices are rising (6-12% in 2014 according to the CTA) and 90% of those devices returned are actually in perfect working order (according to PlumChoice and Parks Associates) - some of that is buyer’s remorse, but most of it is related to unfamiliarity with the product and lack of support during setup.  For a company like Sonos that’s probably $50m+ in sales that are returned due to setup issues, nevermind the loss of future sales from those customers.

This is pretty bad!  The product is returned, the customer is unhappy, Sonos loses out on the lifetime value of that customer (presumably Sonos customers buy more than one device over several years and spread the good word about the brand), and Sonos actually loses money on the sale because they have to process the return (shipping, processing, etc).  There’s more with lost potential revenue - Parks Associates frequently discusses the fact that customers increasingly don’t buy consumer technology because they fear that setup is too difficult or they’ll need training they can’t get easily.

With all this in mind, I can imagine that it’s worthwhile for Sonos to pay $100 to prevent a returned $200 speaker and get another successful lifetime customer that they know will generate significantly more revenue over time.  It raises their average customer acquisition cost (CAC) but potentially enables them to achieve higher revenue numbers by both limiting returns and improving their brand.  I suspect Enjoy doesn’t always send two people for a simple Sonos install (one person was probably getting trained).  I think there are some margins in there to play with - at least enough to continue exploring this business model and figure out the future.  Fast forward 5 years when Enjoy might be a household name and many people think “I’ll just call Enjoy” when they run into a tech problem - there’s a lot that can be done with that kind of brand power.

I agree that there’s a lot to be figured out, but for all our sakes I hope they do it.  If Enjoy can find a profitable model here then they’ll drive the adoption of technology by the mass market and it will likely be better for the HTP.  All ships rise with the tide.

Posted by andrewinboulder on April 27, 2016

I hope you’re joking when you say you had to explain to them what a toslink was…

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