Consumer appliances has seen steady growth during the past few years in both value and volume terms due to several factors.
In the past decade, demand for housing has boomed while the available supply did not increase as fast, resulting in dramatic price rises. This has affected consumers' perception of housing, and it is generally considered a safe investment – if not the safest. Therefore, consumers are also putting great efforts into renovating homes and redesigning them according to the latest trends, as they understand the value this will add to the houses or apartments once they seek to sell them.
This general trend has a strong effect on consumer appliances as well, with two strong shifts: the first is to built-in appliances, and the second – to more classic or glossy designs and a larger variety of colours. Kitchen appliances are especially affected by this; kitchens used to be separate rooms, but there is now a trend towards whole open spaces that include lounge, kitchen and other functions, and the kitchen's design thus has a greater impact on the overall look. Therefore, built-in appliances that enable consumers to achieve a more seamless look are gaining popularity, especially in categories in which there isn't a significant price gap between built-in and freestanding such as ovens and dishwashers. Small kitchen appliances are also more visible, and consumers are therefore putting a greater emphasis on their colour and design.
Price is not the main purchase factor anymore
Beside the volume growth, value growth is also accelerating. Consumers' preferences concerning their consumer appliances are beginning to change, after years of price-driven purchases which caused steep price declines. The search for lower prices became more pronounced with the introduction of price comparison websites such as ZAP, which made the comparison process easy and accessible. While these still have a strong influence on prices, there are also other factors which are becoming more dominant in consumers' decisions, such as products' quality, performance and durability. Consumers are more likely now to check what the warranty includes and how long it is as well as the quality of the warranty provider's service, especially in large appliances which have a longer lifecycle. As these factors are more important, consumers are also willing to pay larger sums for products that offer them, and thus we are witnessing a price rise in many categories with consumers shifting to more expensive brands of higher quality and better warranties. As consumers associate extended warranties with high quality, companies have responded by offering far longer warranties than previously available, thus also providing added value that allows them to avoid decreasing prices in order to remain competitive. This in turn has contributed further to the price rises.
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