feature: laundry

consumers are opting for freestanding laundry appliances due to the larger capacities they offer, as well as the increased flexibility they provide around the home. “Smart technology within the home has

really started to take off, piquing the interest of the consumer and starting to drive the sales of washing machines and tumble dryers. Washing machines are leading the way within the market for connected appliances, with volume and value soaring by 518 per cent and 485 per cent respectively.” Smart technology is one area where laundry appliances lead the domestic appliances sector. the way with smart appliance technology and whilst connected products have been growing in popularity for some time now, adaptive technology in the form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being increasingly incorporated into product design. “AI filtered through to lots of household appliances in 2018 and laundry models have utilised the technology in the most innovative and beneficial ways. The Hoover AXI washing machine, for example, uses voice activation technology and was the first in the UK that utilised Amazon Alexa or Google Home to ‘talk’ to the machine, as well as having the functionality to control and monitor the model using an app on a smartphone. “The Candy Rapid’Ó also

offers a unique AI function, in the form of Snap&Wash. This feature allows users to

February/March 2020

check the best programme for their washing by taking a photo of the load in front of the appliance and uploading it to the Simply-Fi app.” Sara Bazeley also highlights technology as an influence on purchasing decisions, particularly for the more eco-conscious consumer. “Technology in the laundry appliance market is constantly developing to make appliances more energy and water efficient. Resource efficiency is of increasing interest with consumers due to the constant pressure on their purses. Indesit is working hard to ensure laundry appliances boast resource-saving benefits and utility bills are kept in check to reduce the effect on the environment. Consumers are increasingly realising the importance of ‘eco-appliances’, as they begin to understand the long-term benefit of saving on resources, and inevitably their household bills and the planet. “Indesit prides itself on developing products that ease the pressures of modern-day life and ensures its laundry appliances consist of features and programmes that offer time saving laundry solutions to benefit families with busy schedules.” David Palmer, Product Specialist Home Appliances at LG Electronics, points to research to make the eco case. “A key trend in the home laundry market is artificial intelligence (AI), with consumers increasingly recognising the time, energy and money-saving benefits that AI can provide when integrated with kitchen

appliances. Smart technology represents the ultimate level of convenience, enabling consumers to control and monitor their appliances remotely or with their voice. “Adding to this, sustainability and eco-friendly home appliances are also a key in the sector. With sustainable living firmly in the minds of many consumers worldwide, sustainable appliance practices are a key priority: as they learn about the impact of climate change and the small adjustments that can make a big difference, the demand for appliances which provide energy efficiency benefits continues to grow. This is supported by research commissioned by LG on the nation’s laundry habits, which identified a trend suggesting consumers do fewer washes to save energy (73%), and protect the environment (26%). Overall, it is safe to say that the kitchen appliance market will continue to develop and integrate new features that offer users even greater convenience, efficiency, durability and sustainability.” So with the fact that laundry is predominantly

a replacement market, how can retailers make sure they are maximising their sales in this area? Catherine Balderson believes service is key. “Sales of laundry appliance are predominately driven by replacement. When an appliance needs replacing, service speaks volumes and consumers look for and buy from retailer with an efficient and seamless delivery service and an excellent instore experience. Hotpoint is committed to supporting its trade partners and has strengthened its logistics service. As well as providing support to retailers by extending home delivery to a full seven-day service, Hotpoint has extended the cut-off time for next-day delivery to 1800 hours. This means | 27

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