When it comes to choosing a new household appliance, consumers are making use of everything from Pinterest boards to their favourite foodie influencer’s microwave of choice to decide what will suit their lifestyle (and pocket). Among the most important concerns are the adaptability of a machine, environmental friendliness, and of course aesthetics.
1. Technological adaptability
Adaptability is especially important for consumers to consider. They want to know that their purchases will still function well in five years, given the rapid rate of technological advancements and innovations. Consumers need to consider whether the functions on an appliance are usable when connected to renewable, off-grid energy sources; if there are software/mechanical upgrades or attachments available; and what the long-term effects of the appliance are on the environment.
Matthew Louw, Corporate Marketing Supervisor at LG Electronics South Africa, says that while consumers have always valued longevity in their appliances, modern longevity is more than the ability to perform the same function over time, it is the capacity to be useable, adaptable and technologically relevant over a long period.
“Products that give you more for less, and are designed with a sense of the time in which we are living will contribute greater value to modern households,” he says. Appliances like LG’s TwinWash washing machine come equipped with the option to add a Mini Wash to the device, effectively turning it into a double laundry machine that increases capacity while cutting laundry time in half. This allows people to adapt their washing machine when the laundry needs of their household change, without having to buy a whole new appliance.
Another consideration for consumers looking to buy appliances for the first time is the advent of the smart home. For example, many fridges are now smart-home ready, and can connect with an app via your mobile device to help you with managing food expiry dates, warning you when you’re low on essentials and even compiling a shopping list. If you plan to invest in smart home technology in the next few years – or think you might consider it – it’s worth looking into technology-ready appliances.
2. Environmental sustainability
With the rise of eco-conscious consumerism, people are ditching everything considered not environmentally-friendly – from plastic straws to fast fashion. Organisations need to take note that these consumers are also concerned with the impact their household devices will have on the environment. Energy efficiency is an essential feature because of the associated environmental benefits and cost savings. If you’re not sure what to look for, keep an eye open for the South African Energy Efficiency Label when shopping for appliances. Products such as LG’s ArtCool air conditioner is designed with eco-conscious technology. The machine features an Inverter Processor, so not only do you have an effective heating and cooling device (did someone say two for one?), but the power saving technology saves up to 60% of energy, and helps you save on utility bills.
The reality of living in an Instagram world also means that aesthetics matter more than ever. Louw says that when buying a new household appliance, consumers need to consider if it will fit into the style of their spaces and homes. In general, appliances that meet this need feature ease, beauty and minimalism. “Good design should be a non-negotiable for manufacturers and consumers, especially for items that are highly visible in our homes,” says Louw. “Consumers don’t have to choose between functionality and beauty – we can have both.”
So next time you are scanning the latest deals for your appliance purchase, ask yourself these three questions: Can the appliance adapt to form part of a smart home? Does it have the SA Energy Efficiency label? Do I love the way it looks? If it’s yes, yes, and yes, then you’re making a good purchase – happy shopping!