“Amongst other factors, the government’s recent commitment to building 300,000 new homes a year, plus additional incentives to encourage first-time buyers into the market, makes the prospect of increased demand for appliances a real opportunity.
“In 2018, we expect the trend towards larger capacity models to continue, whether that’s more place settings for dishwashers, extra litrage on ovens or larger capacity laundry appliances. Washing machines are a good example of this and have been on an upward trajectory in terms of size for some time, with a market shift towards 8-9kg and above capacity.
“When it comes to Smart appliances, we know that they can offer time and resource savings are of most interest to consumers* and in terms of technology, we expect to see more voice assist functionality. As Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home find their way into more and more homes, people are becoming more familiar with such technology and understand how it will benefit their own lives.
“In our own product range for example, we have a washing machine – the Candy Bianca – that can be controlled with voice assist functionality, Bluetooth & NFC, as well as via the more traditional programme selector. It’s really important that the technology is simple to use without overcomplicating things. As a concept, voice control is something we’ll be expanding upon further in the New Year.
“Other interesting developments in smart tech include the benefits of connectability. For example, appliances that can browse the internet and access different websites can open up a lot of possibilities from downloading new content and programmes, essentially making its expertise and personalised recommendations never-ending.
“One of the biggest barriers to smart technology’s impact on the market is the divide in industry opinion. Some retailers have so far been a bit reluctant to fully embrace connected appliances, whereas manufacturers believe in the benefits and opportunities that smart products provide.
“The main point here is that if the manufacturers have such a strong belief in these products, why isn’t this excitement and passion being transferred to all retailers? In 2018, manufacturers involved with smart tech will continue to have the responsibility of educating consumers and advocating the genuinely outstanding benefits of these appliances, but retailers also have a vital role to play, providing that much-needed expert advice and important reassurance to the customer in-store.”
(* Source: Mintel Major Domestic Appliances UK, April 2017)hoover | hoover.co.uk