Tag Archives: appliances

Smart Move

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The connected home is now reality, not a fantasy. The global market for smart-home appliances is expected to be worth $38.35 billion by 2020, and will only grow as demand and consumer interest in smart appliances increases. Shoppers will be looking for smarter appliances, but these can be balanced with regular models depending on a consumer’s desire to have some or all of their devices connected.

Some categories are clearly just jumping on the bandwagon, such as a connected SDA, which is in most cases an expensive and underused version of a regular appliance.Yet when considering the connected home from a long-term financial and time-efficiency perspective, some are valid purchases, once you’ve weighed up the cost against its potential long-term worth. Many of these domestic appliance products are, however, costly and there’s a good chance that if you could afford a kitchen and utility room full of connected devices, you’re perhaps not going to be the one cleaning or cooking and directly using the connected devices.

For retailers, the margins on smart appliances are evident, however this must be weighed up against unit sales, which may mean a lower margin than your bread-and-butter range could achieve if it were occupying the same space in your store. While the investment in ranging smart appliances may not be attractive at the moment, remember that sales in John Lewis stores in the smart-home category increased by 81 per cent year on year from 2014 to 2015. This is a growing trend that will likely spread to independent retailers, as smart appliances become increasingly more mainstream.

Having a select range of smart appliances gives your store an aspirational product and proposition for shoppers to consider when looking for a new washing machine or fridge. It’s worth considering that many shoppers looking to purchase a new appliance are doing so as a ‘distress purchase’. These consumers will be looking for a reliable device, not necessarily one with smart features.

However, a demonstration from a knowledgeable staff member connected via a tablet or smartphone, to explain the benefits of the smart system, may persuade many shoppers to purchase for the long-term benefits. These include compatibility with future smart appliances they may add to their home.

My advice is to pepper your range with connected devices, but don’t forget the mass-market appeal of traditional appliances and offer choice at all price points and functionality.

Read more at http://ertonline.co.uk/opinion/smart-move/

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Make the most of the Shopper Journey this Spring

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With spring cleaning on shoppers’ minds, a fresh wave of potential customers will be coming into store hunting for the best appliances to spruce up their homes and meet their IoT [Internet of Things] needs.

This poses an opportunity for increased sales, so it’s time for retailers to match consumer enthusiasm by entering new categories and stocking this wave of innovative products.

Floorcare and handheld cleaning appliance brands, such as Kärcher and Electrolux, will be taking advantage of this increased consumer demand by releasing above-the-line campaigns and promotions for the spring. Retailers should take advantage of these campaigns as they can drive footfall into store.

Retailers need to complete the customer experience. Make sure your store is properly 
merchandised to draw attention to these hero products. Guide consumers on a shopper journey and convert them into shoppers.

With the economy picking up, consumers are willing to spend that little bit extra to get the best products that will improve their lifestyles, with reduced power consumption and ease of use.
Recent research by Gekko shows that there has been a seven per cent drop in consumer cost-consciousness over the past year. With this in mind, retailers should look to enter new categories and begin stocking innovative products.

We can see from the rise in popularity of such products that consumers are willing to pay for the added benefits brought by innovation. Cordless ‘handstick’ vacuums are an excellent example. With space at a premium, handsticks have rocketed in popularity since entering the market in 2013, as people are doing away with conventional vacuum cleaners. The sector is now worth £64 million. With the average handstick costing around £200, consumers are clearly interested in purchasing premium, innovative products, as long as the lifestyle benefits are clear.

The rise of smart appliances will also make a big impact this year, as more consumers become aware and understand that the IoT is no longer a concept, it’s real. With many shoppers looking to replace their outdated appliances as part of the spring spruce-up, electrical retailers should capitalise on the current smart-home trend to increase sales of premium appliances.

Smart appliances, such as the Samsung WaterWall range of dishwashers and Grundig’s MultiSense washing machine, are good examples, incorporating smart technology into everyday appliances. Why not try a new category like the smart home, with products such as the Hive smart thermostat?

What’s important for retailers is to have trained staff that can properly explain these benefits.

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