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Smart Insights: Consumer Goods

The number of touchpoints between brands and consumers is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Consumers are seeking richer retail experiences, rather than simply acquiring new products. There is also an intense competition for loyalty.

To be successful, consumer goods (FMCG, domestic appliances, home and living) companies need a comprehensive understanding of what is driving consumer choices and experiences at every touchpoint.

GfK's consumer goods research and insights illuminate the trends behind today's market realities and tomorrow's consumer demands.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods

Home Appliances

Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for consumer goods industry. View all insights

    • 01/06/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    3 usability tips every appliance manufacturer should consider

    The household appliance industry has been particularly impacted by rapid-evolving technology and Connected Consumer innovations. Our user experience (UX) researchers and designers are fortunate to see and test many cool-looking prototypes that integrate these innovations before they hit the market. While we draw some of our insights from UX best practices and years of experience in UX design of appliances, having a set of benchmarks in our arsenal makes recommendations that much more powerful.

    Measuring UX in household appliance research

    We have integrated a UX measurement tool in household appliance research over several years resulting in a robust benchmark database. A scientifically-validated tool, the UX Score offers holistic insight by combining pragmatic usability aspects (learnability, operability) with hedonic qualities such as usefulness (identification, stimulation) and look and feel; this results in a score that can be compared to competitor products, different versions of the product, or, in the case of household appliances, benchmarked for the category. Our database includes years of global research covering diverse product categories from cooktops to freezers.

    Diving deeper into the individual dimensions of the UX Score

    While the overall benchmark UX Score for household appliances indicates a good user experience through its relatively high value (about 5 on a scale from 1=low  to 6=high), researchers are likely familiar with the following situation: A consumer is excited about a new idea and design, but once they attempt to use it, the disappointment surfaces. So we must dive deeper into the individual dimensions of the UX Score. Here we see the mean benchmark values by dimension for the UX Score of household appliances. Mean benchmark values of each dimension including overall benchmark (orange line) for household appliances In the “inspiration” and “look and feel” dimensions, we see high benchmark values compared to the overall benchmark line. This is fostered by continuous innovations through new functionalities that show a stimulating effect on the product experience as well as the high-quality impression. The more pragmatic “operability” dimension represents the lowest value by comparison. The location of features and information do not conform to consumer expectations. The “learnability” dimension value is also reduced – a catchy and intuitive usage of household appliances is limited.

    How to improve the user experience for household appliances

    Based on this benchmark data and UX best practices, we have established three tips for household appliance manufacturers to improve the user experience of their products:
    • Define functions and interaction design before constructing the physical interface.
      Thereby you can perfectly place functions exactly where users expect them to be. This works much better than placing the function anywhere and then trying to explain it with an icon.
    • Involve hardware designers as early as possible in the concept development process.
      Designers and hardware experts should work together as early as possible in the concept development and testing process. This will ensure the pragmatic, as well as, hedonic aspects will gain attention.
    • Opportunity of thin-film transistor (TFT) displays should not be overstrained – avoid abundance of functions.
      TFTs offer a great opportunity to explain functions. Although consumers are very familiar with the interactions via touch, too many gimmicks lead to confusion and disorientation. If no TFT is available it becomes even more essential to focus only on the most relevant functionalities. Self-explanatory icons should be found for other functions, which are then tested as early as possible (see point 1).
    As household appliance innovations continue to evolve, the strengths (hedonic qualities) seem to be well-considered. To address the category weaknesses like operability and learnability, appliance manufacturers should apply a holistic user experience design process to keep classic usability aspects top of mind. Lena Tetzlaff is a User Experience Consultant at GfK. Please email lena.tetzlaff@gfk.com to share your thoughts.
    • 12/20/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Remaster your trade marketing to create the perfect promotional tune

    Ensure your trade marketing delivers greater ROI. Our promotion and retail marketing expert Karsten Holdorf will show you how to use different sales drivers in our webinar recording.
    • 12/13/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Which promotions influence "influential" consumers' shopping decisions?

    How can you attract the attention and influence the purchasing decisions of savvy Leading Edge Consumers? Find the answer in our infographic!
    • 11/23/16
    • Consumer Goods
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Forecasting the 2017 market for Major Domestic Appliances

    Things are looking up for the global major domestic appliances (MDA) market in 2017. After a rather difficult year in 2016, where the market has grown by less than 1% overall, we forecast global revenue in 2017 will be a solid +4%, reaching $193 billion. This would make it the second best year after the record turnover of $196 billion measured in 2014.

    Factors driving Major Domestic Appliance growth

    Low interest rates and inflation in many regions are driving historically high levels of consumer spending. On top of that, real estate markets are booming, especially in Germany, France, Benelux and Scandinavia – leading to higher durable goods spending, such as built-in home appliances. The demographic trend in Europe towards smaller households also adds to this increased demand for home appliances. With many consumers having more money in their pockets, the MDA market will be driven by innovative, premium smart products, such as energy efficient washing machines, heat pump tumble dryers, bottom freezer fridges with ‘No Frost’ technology, inductions hobs and self-cleaning ovens. Smart, connected appliances are currently experiencing limited demand in Europe, but we expect them to grow fast in the next years. Online sales will outperform the average market development, at the expense of the smaller traditional retail outlets.

    Exploring the global MDA markets

    According to our GfK forecast data, the global market for Major Domestic Appliances will grow solidly by +4% in 2017, driven by high consumer confidence in Europe and North America, a strong development in India, and a modest recovery in China, Russia and Brazil, whose once buoyant markets have recently suffered from a deterioration of economic and geo-political conditions. Growth drivers for the developed countries in Europe and North America are a favorable macroeconomic environment with historically low interest rates and strong real estate markets. Built-in products will profit strongly from this development, and we will observe an increase in purchases of more premium products with innovative features. The sluggish market in China will be supported by a strong increase in online sales and replacements of older products. India and other developing countries in Asia will grow strongly with better educated, young families and household penetration rates which are still very low. The markets in Russia and Brazil are expected to stabilize with a stronger World economy and subsequently higher crude oil and raw material prices.

    Summary

    With the MDA market poised for growth, appliance manufacturers should capitalize on the market conditions with new innovate products that give consumers what they want. While increasing consumer awareness of the smart home will lead to greater adoption of smart products and appliances over time, it will be the products that seamlessly improve the lives of their owners that will find the most success. Natalia Andrievskaya is the Global Director of Major Domestic Appliances. For more information or to share your thoughts, please email Natalia.Andrievskaya@gfk.com.
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