Wouldn’t it be great if there was a single web portal where a custom integrator can do direct product comparisons when creating a project product list instead of having to open multiple browsers to view 10 different manufacturers’ websites? Well now there is. CEPro-iQ is a new portal that draws from the successful AV-iQ centralized database with hundreds of thousands of SKUs to display detailed product information for the residential integration industry.
CEPro-iQ also can create custom catalogs for integrators to embed on their own websites that drive them to top of the Google search rankings.
CEPro-iQ is born from AV-iQ, which has been around for 20 years in the commercial AV space and boasts 400,000 products from hundreds of brands. The site is used by not only integrators but by decision-maker end users seeking out solutions for their facilities, as well as by architects looking to build technology into their designs. Emerald, owners of CE Pro and the CEDIA Expo, purchased AV-iQ in 2021. AV-iQ business development lead Mark Loftus joined the CE Pro Podcast to chat with editor Jason Knott about the CEPro-iQ launch.
“We’ve been around for so long and I’ve always believed this is a platform that could be applicable to many different industries,” says Loftus. “With the acquisition by Emerald, the easiest and smartest place to start was to sidestep into the residential AV and custom install market. We already work with a lot of commercial manufacturers that make a lot of product lines for the residential space. Combine that with the fact that CE Pro has been around for 30 years as the leading publication in the space, and CEDIA Expo is the No. 1 tradeshow, it made the most sense to create a digital platform for the database of product information for residential integration space.”
Loftus says CEPro-iQ is the first new launch but others will be coming based on other brands in Emerald’s portfolio.
One of the more unique opportunities is for integrators to use CEPro-iQ to elevate their own website’s Google search rankings. Dealers can embed a catalog of the equipment they use onto their own sites as a searchable list for customers to see. The embedding is seamless so it appears the user is still on the dealer’s website but is on cepro-iq.com. It does not affect the speed of the integrators website or open a new browser. By embedding the catalog, it lifts the SEO of the dealer’s website, which is vital given that most clients begin their journey to custom installation with online searches for products.
Loftus says a typical integrator’s website might have a handful of pages that Google scans. When a CEPro-iQ catalog is embedded, Google registers thousands of additional pages to the integrator’s website, which boosts the ranking position. The catalog embedding costs around $150 per month.
The onboarding process for CEPro-iQ is simple. Once the dealer has signed up, he or she gets access to an admin tool where they tick off the brands and the lines that they carry and want in the catalog. The CEPro-iQ team works with the dealers to design the catalog to mimic the look and feel of the dealer’s website, then simply give the URL to the dealer to put in the navigation on their website. Loftus says most dealers will call it a “Product Catalog” or “Product Directory.” The only pricing exposed is MSRPs.
For the consumers who come to the site, they can select the products they are interested in and outreach for installation.
Hear the entire conversation with Loftus by watching or listening to the podcast episode above. Find past episodes of the CE Pro Podcast by subscribing to the CE Pro YouTube channel or our Apple and Spotify podcast feeds.