Online sales of video surveillance products is already a sizable market growing at a robust rate. We estimate the global market size is over $200 Million USD, growing at an annual rate of over 25%. In this first ever study of video surveillance ecommerce, we provide an in-depth analysis of the players, issues and trends in selling surveillance products online.
Online sales is a topic that every segment of the industry already has an opinion about - and often a strong one:
- Channel manufacturers often refer to it as the ‘Grey Market’. While some are relatively silent on this practice, those that do speak out against this practice claim they actively try and prevent unauthorized online sellers from marketing their products.
- Distributors generally have a negative view of online sellers that sell directly to end users (though some clearly do the very same thing themselves).
- Integrators see online sellers as a huge threat to their historically high margins.
- End users, armed with information readily available on the Internet, sometimes see no need to pay integrator mark-ups for services that they do not feel add significant value.
But are all online sellers the same? Is the commoditization of surveillance equipment the real driving force in the breaking down of the channel, or is it the easy access to information that the internet provides? Or both?
In this report we examine the many facets of online surveillance sales and the impact this 'outside the channel' practice is having on manufacturers, distributors, integrators and end users alike. Who benefits? Whom does it hurt? To get a broader understanding of this 'shades of grey' market, we sought to find out who was selling what to whom, what quantities were being sold online, and more importantly - how?
How could so-called 'channel' brands like Pelco, Bosch, GE, etc - brands allegedly available only through traditional channel sources - be so readily available for purchase by anyone with a broadband connection and a credit card? And what about online sites that sell everything from spy pens to PTZs to access control? Where do they fit in?
An enormous number of websites offer video surveillance products for sale. As part of our research we conducted in-depth analysis on a number of companies to better understand the varying practices and approaches of sellers. These companies include:
Interestingly, the online market for surveillance products is even more fragmented than the video surveillance market overall.