Next generation of consumers, appliances

Updated: 2014-05-02 10:45

By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Diversity of channels

Yu Liangxing, an analyst with AVC, said e-commerce has become a major force in expanding sales channels.

"We found out that chain stores, department stores and hypermarkets are taking less shares in electronic appliances sales channels, while speciality stores, neighborhood stores and e-commerce platforms are expanding fast," Yu said.

By last December, 10.3 percent of television sets were sold on online shopping platforms in China, and the figure for refrigerators and washing machines was close to 10 percent, Yu said.

For air conditioners, however, online shopping might not be the most popular choice among consumers as delivery and installation services after the sales may not be as good as the products themselves.

"About 10 percent of online shoppers who bought air conditioners online gave negative feedback because of unhappy experiences they had with delivery and installation," said Yu.

More sales channels have been introduced to reach more consumers with specific demands.

Some brands have already been researching the preferences of target groups of consumers, such as residents of a high-end neighborhood or residential community.

Cui Xiang, brand manager of a high-end German home appliance business, said he finds cooperation with realty developers to be a great sales channel.

"Developers may submit their plans and description of our products, which will be included in a gift package to the owners of the apartments. The demand may be consistent with the styles of the apartments - for example, carpeted floors may need a carpet steamer, or an open kitchen might need powerful kitchen ventilation," Cui said.

Each package of home appliances may have a combined value of up to 400,000 yuan.

"Compared to the total price of the apartment, it is a small figure - a home that is not functional means little, while our products may attach more meaning to the space," Cui said.

Some high-end brands said they market through exclusive channels, such as inviting potential consumers to showrooms.

"(Numbers of) transactions are indeed important for us, but visiting the showroom by invitation makes our sales process more precise," said Hong Wei, a salesman with an Italian kitchenware brand.

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