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February 2019 ertonline.co.uk


Lucy King, product manager at Smeg UK


From our side, it’s about trying to bring in a seamless consumer experience and it’s key that retailers understand the unique selling points of smart appliances and can clearly communicate the benefits to consumers.


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or alerting them when their wine has reached the optimum temperature to serve via an app. “From our side, it’s about trying to bring in a seamless consumer experience and it’s key that retailers understand the unique selling points of smart appliances and can clearly communicate the benefits to consumers.”


Don’t forget SDA According to market research firm, Futuresource Consulting, 56 million smart appliances will be shipped in 2019, up from 25 million in 2018. This year, Beko plc plans to tap into this growth by launching Europe’s first connected AutoDose dishwasher, Keval Shah, the company’s Head of Marketing tells ERT. This Dishwasher is Wi-Fi connected, so you can connect to the appliance by installing the HomeWhiz app on an Android or iOS device, allowing you to receive helpful updates, download new wash programmes or set the dishwasher to start during off-peak electrical hours. “The evolution of connected appliances will continue in the SDA, MDA and tech agenda for the next few years,” Mr Shah says. “We’re focused on delivering everyday innovation to make peoples’ lives that bit easier, and by democratising technology, we are enabling as many people as possible to access it. “We anticipate appliances that you can manage


remotely will continue to surge. Products that forewarn the owner of an issue via a mobile app, such as a partially clogged filter, eliminate a potential issue or cost, ultimately improving consumer/manufacturer relationship. “Coupled with this, it’s important to recognise that people are looking for peace of mind when purchasing a big-ticket item like a kitchen appliance. Connected appliances can help meet this demand, by using smart technology to recognise when an appliance has an issue, so that it can automatically report a fault that could be fixed via a software


The Smeg CVI118RWS2 wine cooler


update, phone call or technician. This benefit continues to offer consumers a clear incentive to purchase a smart appliance, as it automatically saves them time and unwanted stress in the future.” Mr Shah believes that it is beneficial for retailers to make space in-store for an impressive smart home display that can capture a customer’s imagination. In addition he says it is also important to train up staff on the smart home proposition to ensure they fully understand all the features and benefits of each appliance, and how they work with the apps in order to be able to give customers a thorough, informed demonstration. “With smart technology being relatively new to market, having an expert on-hand to explain the technology and its real-life benefits helps convert store visits into sales.”


Know your stuff


Steve Macdonald, business director, freestanding appliances at Hoover Candy, agrees, saying that consumers today know exactly what they want and in-store staff have to be knowledgeable in so many different areas. “For example, busy families that do not have a washing machine that doesn’t offer a quick and effective wash will know that they need this when shopping for a new model. They’ll be looking for specific features, rather than accepting what the latest model offers. “Increasingly, it’s going to be how you interact with appliances through your smart phone or tablet that is going to make usage more personal. Smart appliances are a real gamechanger here, as they can offer bespoke solutions to consumers.” Elsewhere, Nick Platt, business director, built- in appliances at Hoover Candy, explains: “While


we know smart technology provides a plethora of solutions to long-standing consumer problems, we’ve also noted things


such as consumers


wanting professional-style cooking appliances at home. This is thanks to the popularity of cooking programmes such as The Great British Bake Off or weekend cooking and chat shows. This has pushed demand for tech such as steam ovens and even sous-vide appliances – this is a method that cooks food in a vacuum sealed bag, and in turn, an increased demand for products like vacuum sealer drawers for domestic settings. We’d expect professional-style cooking appliances, or at least those with professional programmes - such as steam cooking functions, to become more popular in 2019.”


Sticking with built-in, Head of Brand at Hotpoint, Jennifer Taylor, adds that built-in cooking appliances will continue to be favoured over freestanding models in 2019. “This is because the size of the average UK kitchen has decreased. Homes built from 2010 onwards are now smaller by more than 4m, with the average kitchen measuring around 12.4m. Built-in appliances streamline a kitchen and create a feeling of space. Integrating appliances, such as a microwave and coffee machine, alleviates counter-tops and increases space available for food preparation.


“Not only this, but as attitudes towards wasted


food are changing, there is now a trend amongst consumers to reduce food waste at home. Recent activity has led to an increase in awareness and consumers now seek refrigeration appliances that ensure the best storage of food, to prolong its freshness in an effort to reduce food waste.”


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