refrigeration He adds: “In 2016 we saw a slight move

away from side by side models, but sales of three door-plus products increased by 9%. Large capacity is an attractive feature to consumers, as are flexi-zones, which allow one area of the product to transform into either a fridge or a freezer. These standout features appeal to those looking to make a statement, or those whose circumstances have changed - for example, a new baby in the house could mean a family has more demand for freezer space.” Design is also a factor, especially in

newer properties. “In terms of design trends, open plan living has been growing in popularity over the past few years,” says Carolyn. “Aesthetic trends have swayed towards combi fridge freezers in black and stainless steel finishes. Handle-less appliances are also increasing in demand with consumers looking to give their kitchens and homes a more streamlined look and feel, which aligns with their kitchen cabinetry.”

Trade up messages are becoming easier, as consumers become used to, and expect, improved performance and features in their appliances. Stuart comments: “Shoppers are trading

up from traditional fridge freezers to larger, feature rich appliances and functions such as Total No Frost are becoming more prevalent. Technology is also being used to help to preserve food for longer, so higher specification models include individual temperature controls in different compartments to help maximise the appliance’s efficiency. Sales of refrigeration appliances are increasingly promotion driven, with promotional peaks being seen at the beginning of the summer peak, Black Friday and during the January sales.” Connectivity is an area consumers are

increasingly aware of, too. “Smartphones have set the standard

for how appliances need to look and feel,” comments Tim. “People expect touch screen controls with brilliant graphics and easy to

navigate control panels. Home automation utilises the best of modern technology to make everyday items smart, which I can see being a product area strongly increasing in 2017. Being able to control an appliance from a smartphone is a positive step into modern day technology and innovation. Users can now control their own appliances when away from their home, by simply connecting their smart appliance to their smart phone for increased user benefits.”

Making the sale Getting across the benefits of modern refrigerators on the shop floor is essential, especially noting that a customer may not have purchased a new refrigerator for many years. “It’s vital that practical demonstrations of the devices are given to customers, so they can see how the technology would work in their own home,” says Nick. “At Samsung, we are committed to working closely with our retail partners to ensure that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to accurately inform customers and aptly demonstrate the various features on the product itself and through the apps. “In-store retailers should be educating

customers by bringing to life the visual and lifestyle benefits of the latest fridge- freezers, as well as other kitchen appliances. For connected appliances in particular, demonstrating integrated app and product content as part of the sell is hugely beneficial and it’s important that retailers work with manufactures to select apps which work best to show these benefits. Retailers should ensure that the product is connected to their Wi-Fi network so they can demo fully, as well as being clear on how to set the demonstration mode which hugely helps consumers looking at the product unassisted.” Carolyn agrees: “With Smart Home

products, it is essential that retailers understand the benefits that innovative technology and design can now offer customers. Many of the smart and connected technologies cannot be seen; with this in mind in-store presentation and demonstrations are critical in bringing to life the latest technology and design features for consumers. “For example, retailers can set up

Capacity is an important factor for consumers, especially those with larger families 22 |

showrooms with Wi-Fi and staff should be encouraged to utilise mobile phones in the demonstration of smart features to show customers how easy it is to activate features such as LG’s Smart Diagnosis or remote operation.” Tim believes that getting a customer hands on with a product is the best way to demonstrate benefits. “Demonstrating a product to highlight its main qualities and functions is a great selling tool for retailers,” he says. “It is often assumed

February 2017

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