Integrators Rank Low in Consumer Trust Study as Buying Source

Parks Associates survey shows that integrators are sixth most trusted type of contractor to purchase smart home equipment from, even polling behind online-only etailers. Gulp!

Jason Knott · October 14, 2015
Back in 2011, CE Pro reported how a new consumer survey conducted on behalf of the Electronic Security Association (ESA) revealed custom electronics integrators were the No. 3 choice of contractors to install smart home equipment.

Well, a new survey is out and the news is a bit worse. When asked to name where they would trust to buy (not necessarily install) smart home products, integrators are No. 6. According to data from Parks Associates, among U.S. broadband households "Service Contractors" (which is the only category that remotely equates to a custom electronics professional) are the sixth most trusted type of contractor that consumers want to buy smart home products from, with only about half of consumers saying the "trust" or "highly trust" integrators asa buying source.

Leading the pack are national and local retailers with a nearly 70 percent total trust factor. They are followed by security dealers, broadband service providers, online-only retailers and electricity providers. The only type of contractor less trusted is an HVAC contractor.

The good news is that if you happen to have a retail storefront, your trust level skyrockets to first place. I can understand that. Consumers see brick-and-mortar retail as a signal of stability. They feel comfortable buying products in a retail environment.


Way back in 2006, I opined that the custom installation industry was "invisible." I guess this survey debunks that theory. We are visible now, but still have a ways to go.

It would be interesting to see how the responses would have filtered if the question related particularly to installation of smart home equipment vs. simply buying. But the study points out that integrators strength in building trust with their clients is during the design and installation process, not during the buying cycle.

Any theories?

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Most technology products are not that visually appealing. Black boxes and tangled wires do not add to the character of a high-end smart home project. Luckily, our integrator readers have a number of clever solutions so these components don’t have to be visible in your next project.

  About the Author

Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at

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