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It's time for security & alarm companies to aggressively embrace subscriptions.

Artemy Kirnichansky
 - 
February 6, 2022

Allow me to introduce you to your ideal customer — not just one of them, but an entire group that will redefine the long-term opportunity in the security market. 

They’re young working professionals, often under the age of 35. Their family income is usually over $100,000. 

And while they might initially buy home security systems or smart doorbells at retail, they are increasingly interested in subscriptions that offer access to premium services. 

According to the Home Automation Ownership & Usage Report from NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence published, 41% of consumers see subscriptions as a source of additional value after buying smart home security devices. It includes 24/7 continuous video recording (CVR), the top most-wanted service by 29%. 

A high-level look at security subscription service possibilities 

That may be just the beginning, however. 

NPD reports that 41% of people who subscribe to security services own five or more types of smart home devices, compared to 25% of non-subscribers. 

With more technology woven into the fabric of their everyday life, these customers are poised to explore new ways to protect what’s most valuable to them. It could include: 

  • Voice-activated and controlled security systems that minimize contact with hardware and bring greater convenience
  • Advanced video surveillance and monitoring applications, including motion detection and night vision, to watch vehicles and package deliveries.
  • Virtual support to security experts to assist with DIY installation and troubleshooting.

Beyond the traditional desire to keep their family home safe, more consumers continue to work from home than ever before as companies introduce greater flexibility through hybrid work policies. It means they need to ensure laptops and other equipment are properly secured and make a multi-level security subscription attractive.

Subscription billing is not necessarily new to the security sector and is limited to consumers. However, growth will also come from businesses that want to achieve the benefits of optimizing building access control, network security and more. 

The tech foundation that successful security subscriptions will require

The challenge is that the increased market opportunity to expand into additional services will call companies to reevaluate how ready they are to provide an outstanding customer experience.

While the initial driver for subscriptions might be coverage across multiple devices, long-term loyalty will depend on how you treat customers at every phase of the journey. They will want: 

  1. Highly targeted, relevant promotions to make them aware of additional services — such as smart lighting, heating or network security, for instance — that could be added to an existing subscription.
  2. Frictionless capabilities to manage their subscription, whether adding new services or changing their profile.
  3. Quick and seamless access to customer support or any resources required as part of the onboarding process.

Companies without a subscription billing platform in place will need to devote considerable resources and effort to provide this kind of customer experience consistently and at scale. 

Those that make a move — and do so early — will be in a better position to differentiate themselves from competitors and enjoy a greater customer lifetime value.

Choosing the right partner for security subscription services 

However, when SecurityInfoWatch reported on the initial shift to security subscription services a few years ago, vendors reported difficulty setting up billing and provisioning systems for themselves and their channel partners. 

Those were basic subscriptions, while the opportunity in 2022 and beyond offers far more dynamic and flexible options demanded by tech-savvy customers. 

Choosing the right partner for subscription billing doesn’t have to be complicated. But, first, make sure the vendors you consider can answer questions like:

  • How will the platform help us accelerate or ease the process of launching new subscription services?
  • What kind of visibility and analytics will the platform provide into invoicing, payments and cash flow to improve forecasting and day-to-day business management? 
  • What kind of personalization, cross-selling and upselling could happen as relationships with subscribers are deepened?

Ultimately, expanding the range of subscriptions for security customers ensures they stay current with the latest technology. It means less time and effort for vendors to replace existing customers with new ones. It will also bring more streamlined and efficient operations, leading to a better employee experience. 

The time to act, therefore, is now. Your ideal customers are waiting. 

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