feature: floorcare “Once again, the Unlimited Serie 6 comes

into its own. With the help of a back-up battery, as soon as the first battery runs out of charge it can instantly be replaced by a fully charged second battery. What’s more, the Unlimited Serie 6 battery is part of the Power for ALL System. What this means is that in addition to the Unlimited Serie 6, the battery is also compatible with more than twenty Bosch power tools and garden tools.” The rise and rise of the lifestyle influencer has had a major effect on the floorcare market, as Emmah Littlewood, General Manager at Vileda, explains. “With the surge in popularity of influencers such as Mrs Hinch and Marie Kondō, there is a real opportunity for retailers to profit from premium cleaning products which offer larger sales. Retailers looking to grow sales within the cleaning category should be looking to the 18-44 year old market as recent research conducted across Europe by Vileda found that, in the UK, it’s the 18-44s embracing the deep clean, with some 45% undertaking an annual spring clean vs 34% of over 45s. "Our extensive range of floorcare and laundry solutions benefit from year-round marketing support and this includes our bestselling lightweight Vileda Steam Mop, which heats up in 15 seconds and lasts up to 28 minutes on one tank. Seeing sales boosts from recent positive product reviews in top consumer titles including Ideal Home, Real Homes and Expert Reviews, we’ve found that, once a consumer chooses and experiences the quality of one of our products, the likelihood of them choosing Vileda again for their next purchase increases.” By extension, floor cleaners are increasingly benefiting from the ‘lifestyle’ tag, as Geoff Johnson points out. “Cordless vacuum cleaners’ new market position as contemporary lifestyle products is also being reflected in the range of designs now on offer. To bring cordless vacuum cleaners in line with other trendsetting products, manufacturers are updating their looks, moving away from loud colour finishes and making them available in contemporary and minimalist designs. Taking their inspiration from the smartphone market, Roidmi offers understatedly elegant white and grey finishes as well as urban chic red and white designs. “For a minimalist, uncluttered look,

cordless vacuum cleaners are now also coming with magnetic docks, which can be used to store as well charge them.” So how can retailers benefit from

this new interest in floorcare? Sophie Jones, Group Manager, Market and Shopper Insight at BSH, has these pointers to offer. “Given the importance placed on versatility and

February/March 2020

weight, consumers should be encouraged to engage with products on the shop floor — to try them out and feel how heavy they are. Retailers should therefore remove

any potential barriers that might prevent interaction. For example, a few of the models should be charged and ready

to clean. If the cordless vacuum cleaner comes with accessories,

they should be shown within the display so that consumers have a clearer idea of what is available. “Due to the range of innovations and developments in the market,

knowledgeable sales staff are key in helping consumers narrow down their choices. With the connected consumer now at a point of information overload, having a trained member of staff able to help them make the

right choice for their needs is priceless.” Joseph Yaxley highlights demonstration

as a key area. “At Miele, we feel that live demonstrations are key; allowing customers not only to see a particular model, but to also try it for themselves - for example on different floor types. This provides them with the opportunity to ask any questions regarding features and performance, as well having a first-hand experience of what they could expect in

their own homes. Our quietest vacuum – the Complete C3 Silence, for instance, really needs

to be heard to be believed, while having the opportunity to switch between the different set up modes in our new Triflex HX1 cordless stick vacuum cleaner will demonstrate its flexibility." Catrin Davies agrees that customers should

be shown the products in action. “In store demonstrations are essential in floorcare. Once the customer has completed their online research and settled on a format, they come in store for reassurance that the product can be just as effective as their existing model. “It's essential that all models are clearly visible and easily accessible, so people feel confident to try them out. Retailers should also endeavour to recreate life-like situations, such as rice on the floor or crumbs trodden into the carpet, to enable customers to conduct a real-life road test to see how effective the product could be in their home. With vacuums, it’s important to have an area of different floor coverings to show consumers how to switch between hard floors and fabrics. “It’s also important to ask the right questions of the customer to enable them to make the right choice. For example, do they require a model that’s more effective at picking up stubborn pet hair, or do they need a quieter product, which is especially useful if the customer is living with a nervous animal or anyone who may be sensitive to loud noises. “Finally, it may sound straightforward, but

retailers need to make sure that the vacuums are charged and available to test, as this can make all the difference between a consumer making a purchase or going elsewhere.” | 15

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