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FUTURE TECH TRENDS Comment


How will you meet the changing needs of consumers?


30


You can’t deny, 2020 was a rather extraordinary year. Never in peacetime have CE retailers had to close their doors and rely on an omni-channel approach, if they had one, to generate revenue and continue trading. By Daniel Todaro


T


he effect of COVID-19 has impacted our industry at a global level and consumers’ desire for new technology to enhance their home spaces has grown. The industry knows this and my business has seen, since retail reopened, an average conversion to sale of over 60 per cent and an average basket value (ABV) increase of 10 per cent.


Drivers to purchase range from distress to replacement but also a wish


to upgrade, with consumers wanting the latest in smart CE to complement the extra time we are now spending at home. Time during the first lockdown centred around the kitchen for a lot of people, so more of what we consume now is made or prepared using technology. This


extends to how we wash the pots and pans but also how we clean our clothes and our homes. Brands within the category have jumped to the call of more innovation, more integration and more space. The design of the home is evolving faster due to the pandemic; consumers are keen to enhance their quality of life through smart technology, whilst not compromising on aesthetics. Throughout lockdown we saw a sharp increase in sales of fridges, SDAs


and microwaves – ironically fuelling the recovery in China where many of these products are made. The instinct to nest is a trend that we are likely to see extend into 2021 with more connected appliances and many MDA brands adopting this trend as the default. Look at Neff and its Slide & Hide N50 oven, which now also comes with


Home Connect (top left). This is an interface that allows you to connect and pair your oven to get notifications on your phone according to your requirements. For example, notifying you when your dinner’s ready, or being able to send heating instructions directly from recipe to oven and with Google Assistant built in so you can take control through voice... “Hey Google, start my oven.”


The only way is up In the smart appliances category, we can expect a global annual growth rate of 16.1 per cent, resulting in a projected market volume of £52,479m by 2025, with household penetration forecasted to achieve 4.3 per cent in 2021. This is expected to grow to 11.5 per cent by 2025 according to market research from Statista (2020-2025). Here in the UK, the story is even more positive with revenue expected to show


an annual growth rate of 19.2 per cent, resulting in household penetration increasing threefold to 22.6 per cent by 2025. The average revenue per installed smart home purchase was forecasted


to amount to £514.43 in the UK just at the end of last year. This is almost £200 higher than the global average, making the UK a significant market for brands to launch and establish connected innovation.


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