feature: laundry

that Hotpoint can enhance the customer journey, offering a complete solution and service from the point of purchase through to the final installation. For retailers, this offers a considerable advantage, ensuring that they are able to compete in today’s ever-challenging white goods trading environment with timely customer deliveries.” Sara Bazely expands on the point, advising

retailers to be responsive. “Laundry appliances are largely part of a replacement market. 71 per cent of washing machines purchased are replacement products, with only 23 per cent of consumers actually planning to buy a new washing machine. What’s more, distress purchases often drive a faster purchase timeline, with consumers taking an average of 5.5 days to replace a broken laundry appliance. It is an advantage for retailers to be aware and prepared for this time limit, and to have easy and quick access to laundry appliances that are immediately available. “Indesit encourages retailers to find out what the customer likes and dislikes about their current appliance and what programmes and options they find most beneficial. This will help the retailer to recommend an appliance that is best suited to them.” Charmaine Warner emphasises the need for an

informed sales team. “It is likely that it has been a while since the customer has entered the retail space to purchase a laundry appliance. Education on laundry appliances, new developments in the market and the advanced technology available is therefore imperative. If you are limited for space, make sure you have the top of the range model on display. This will make it easier to demonstrate the benefits of the best appliance available and encourage a customer to trade up to a premium laundry appliance that delivers an impressive capacity, resource savings and first-

class performance and equally rewarding with the additional margin made.” However, there are other drivers, and Alex

Lucas believes retailers should focus on connectivity. “I think one particular area of focus for retailers over the next year is to demonstrate to consumers just how much of a positive impact connected appliances can have. For example, through the Home Connect app, users can tell their washing machine what type of clothes they are washing, and it will select the best setting for that wash, saving the consumer time, energy and money. “We also now have a wifi-enabled washing machine and tumble dryer that can ‘talk’ to each other, meaning the dryer knows the type of load in the washing machine so when that gets put in the dryer, it automatically sets the optimum programme to deal with the load. It is developments like this that will, I think, really show people how beneficial connected laundry appliances are.” Steve Macdonald agrees. “With connected appliances, retailers can tap into a new and exciting trend and ultimately upsell. “Smart laundry is still emerging into consumer awareness so displaying key features clearly

will help end users improve their product knowledge and make a more informed decision. “Retailers can also set up the brand’s app on a central tablet/device, allowing the customer to explore the functions whilst in-store. This will help them understand how they will personally benefit from the downloadable programmes, user and maintenance advice. “Highlighting exciting features on new appliances and making the most of POS available from the manufacturer will also draw the customer in and allow them to engage with the product.” Richard Treffler, Category Manager for Laundry

at Miele, reflects on the impact demonstrations can have, backed up by manufacturer support. “Key brands which invest in their retailer partners are winning. We strongly recommend that retailers offer demonstrations as they provide a great opportunity to demonstrate to a customer the real point of difference and the direct benefits they can expect to experience at home. For example, nothing showcases the gentle care of a Miele Washing Machine better than washing a rose, which comes out perfectly intact. Ensuring your staff’s product knowledge is up to date and extensive is key in delivering this experience, and at Miele we support this with award winning product training at our Experience Centres in Abingdon and London. Retailers who focus on delivering outstanding service with a personal touch, exceptional product knowledge and great in- store experience backed up by expert advice can always have the edge over their online counterparts.” Finally, for all the power of the internet and the online shopping experience, Laura Jones has this to say about the power of using the good old shop window well. “Use eye-catching, unusual appliances in the window. You may not sell tons, but they’re more likely to get people through the door. Your window display, if you’re located on the high street with plenty of footfall, can be your greatest marketing tool and might get the local community talking positively about you.”

28 | February/March 2020

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