Competitor Strategies in Consumer Appliances

July 2021

The global health crisis brought home hygiene into focus and consumers relied on appliances to ease the load. Companies responded with new or re-pitched propositions and had the opportunity to showcase their products’ ability to deliver effective sanitisation and peace of mind. In 2021 and beyond, appliance brands are expected to further stretch their value propositions, demonstrating their ability to balance the focus on hygiene with sustainable outcomes and connected living.

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Key Findings

Most of the top 10 players in consumer appliances recorded volume declines in 2020. Although sales were impacted by lockdowns, the overall effect was tempered by strong demand for appliances during the pandemic. Several drivers supported consumer spending on appliances: stimulus cheques, the inability to spend on indulgences such as travel, and historic low interest rates and stamp duty holidays, which contributed to robust housing markets in major economies.

The global health crisis has brought hygiene into focus. This presented opportunities for appliance brands to pitch the value of their products in achieving quality cleaning and sanitisation, and offered consumers much-needed peace of mind. In 2021 and beyond, brands will be expected to further stretch their value propositions, demonstrating their ability to balance the focus on hygiene with sustainable outcomes and connected living.

Appliance brands and retailers were forced to deploy e-commerce strategies during the pandemic. This shift to e-commerce marks a permanent change in the consumer path to purchase, and appliance players and retailers are expected to refine their digital and omnichannel strategies in 2021 and beyond.

The consumer appliances industry is expected to return to growth in 2021. However, sales and prices will be affected by supply chain complications created by the global shortage of shipping containers and semiconductor chips.

Introduction

COVID-19 impact summary
The 4-step consumer progression of COVID-19
Scope

Competitive Environment Overview

Companies at a glance
High dependence on an in-demand industry
Company strategies across emerging and developed markets
Midea and Whirlpool excel in active category share
Consumer appliance players rely mostly on eponymous brand names

Key Themes and Opportunities: Home as a Reinforced Health Hub

Home cleaning frequency increases in 2020
Dishwashers: from luxury to necessity in Indian kitchens
Steam cleaners buoyed by health crisis
Marketing ‘hygiene’: steam to combat allergens, and now viruses too
Vacuum cleaning: competition heats up in and from China

Key Themes and Opportunities: Digitalisation Strategies

Connected appliances demonstrate their value during the outbreak
Beyond COVID-19: e-commerce is here to stay
Appliances one of the top categories researched online in 2020
In store/in person path to purchase remains down in 2021
Brands and retailers respond to online shopping shift

Key Themes and Opportunities: Reassessing Sustainability

COVID-19 impact: how have sustainability priorities changed?
Heat-free sterilisation: pitching UV’s energy efficiency in home laundry

Conclusion

Key takeaways
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