Tue | Aug 21, 2018

Amber Connect hits the US market through Best Buy

Published:Wednesday | July 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMNeville Graham/ Business Reporter
In this April 2016 file photo, Amber Connect CEO Dushyant Savadia is beside a computer screen depicting a demo of the Amber tracker service.
Joseph M. Matalon, chairman of ICD Group.
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Starting today, Wednesday, two of Amber Connect's trackers will be available in the American market through large consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy.

It's the Jamaican software and technology company's first foray into the retail space in the US for its vehicle tracking and fleet management devices.

The partnership with Best Buy was inked through the Bluebird Group, a retail services company based in based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but initially the Amber devices will only be available online through the American company's ecommerce portal.

Chairman of ICD Group Joseph M. Matalon said brick and mortar placements are to come later.

"There are plans to go into stores shortly. We should be able achieve store placement in fall 2018," Matalon told the Financial Gleaner. ICD is part owner of Amber Connect, a company founded by CEO Dushyant Savadia.

As to the size of the deal, that, the ICD chairman said, is dependent on the market's receptivity to the product.

"It's very difficult to put a value to the deal because what this partnership means is that they will take care of distribution and retail. The real size of the deal will depend on consumer uptake," he said.

Amber Connect launched into business in 2015, but quickly expanded into foreign markets. The company also has a software development base in India.

 

SUCCESSFUL LAUNCHES

 

Since 2018, the company has recorded growth in the brand, "including successful product launches in South Africa, Namibia, India and Russia," Matalon said.

Although the Best Buy deal is a continuation of Amber Connect's foreign foray, Savadia sees it as a new level of recognition for the technology that he pioneered in Jamaica.

"To be aligned with Best Buy is not only an honour but also a clear representation of the high level of technology innovation Amber Connect has achieved in such a short period,'' Savadia said.

The partnership will see Amber Connect doing "strategic promotions at key drive times for Best Buy," according to Matalon. Advertising blitzes and marketing through non-traditional channels will be central to the approach.

"These will come in four-hour flash sales, two and three-day sales, which all drive significant bumps in sales. Best Buy supports these promotional activities with marketing including email pushes and global home page awareness," he said.

The deal with Best Buy is non-exclusive, which means Amber Connect can enter into partnerships with other retailers. "If we have the opportunity to place it in Walmart or Costco, or any of them, we will look at that on a deal by deal basis," Matalon said.

Best Buy will carry two of Amber Connect's best-selling telematics products - the Amber Connect 365G and Amber Connect 362.

The higher level AMB 365G provides services such as real time tracking, trip reports, expense management and other functionalities. Its Amber Shield feature uses artificial intelligence to protect the vehicle from tampering or theft whether parking for a few hour or overnight. Installation services will be available to consumers from Best Buy's affiliate, The Geek Squad.

The AMB 362 unit is a portable tracking device. It requires no installation and can be moved from vehicle to vehicle. Both devices are app-enabled and can be controlled by the owner.

Savadia, an Indian national resident in Jamaica, said Bluebird Group has worked with Amber for over two years to establish a go-to market strategy for Amber retail products in the United States.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com