Best Buy is asking its suppliers to provide it with Connected Car products and it is exploring an effort to present the Connected Car in a simple, understandable manner to the consumer, said industry members.
Three vendors said the chain has asked them specifically for “Connected Car” products that offer Internet connected or networked solutions.
One supplier said the chain hopes to develop a Connected Car program by the April 2014 product reset. But to date, there is no formal Connected Car program from Best Buy.
“They are realistic about the category and open to new ideas, like what the Connected Car can be. They are actively looking for new products in the Connected Car,” said a supplier.
Best Buy did not respond to CEoutlook inquiries.
One vendor said that Best Buy is searching for a way to present the idea of the Connected Car to the public in an easily to grasp manner, something which may seem simple, but is actually a challenge. “They are trying to find a way to deliver a clear message that shows the benefits to consumers,” he said.
Store-wide, in other areas of electronics, Best Buy is pushing Internet-connected devices like smart TVs, smartphones and tablets and it wants car audio to be relevant just like these other devices that have captured the fancy of consumers. “They want to see these same attributes in mobile electronics solutions,” said one supplier.
The term Connected Car refers to technologies that link the car infotainment system to the Internet. It includes radios that link to a smartphone or that include WiFor or 3/4G. It may refer to technologies that let you track a car over the Internet or let you remote start a car from a phone. It can also include advanced safety features through radar and sensors. Future connected car technologies include vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication and autonomous cars that drive themselves.
Seattle-based Car Toys recently installed a full showroom for the Connected Car at all of its 50 stores.