The pandemic triggered huge shifts in consumer behavior, changing the way people live, work and interact, as well as bringing personal health and hygiene to the forefront of our minds. Home appliances in 2020-2021 have helped us turn our homes into places of work, education, and leisure as offices, schools, shops, and entertainment venues shut their doors.
Looking at the patterns in popularity of home appliances in 2020-2021 can be a powerful way of observing and understanding broader behavioral shifts taking place. In a period that has seen more change than most, these patterns are even more telling.
Last year, the major theme became the ‘at home’ focus and the sudden change from a ‘want-to-have’ to a ‘need-to-have’ status for certain products. IT devices like mobile PC, tablets and monitors boomed initially, as these were the first must-have items. They were followed by personal and household hygiene products, smart kitchen appliances, household cleaning and home entertainment.
Creating home hubs
Mobile PC +22% (first lockdown), +8% (second/third lockdown)
Media Tablet +6% (first lockdown), +16% (second/third lockdown)
Monitor +12% (first lockdown), +28% (second/third lockdown)
Source: GfK Market Intelligence: Sales Tracking, International Coverage (excl. North America), Q1 2020 - Q2 2021
Catering round the clock
Hand mixers +29%
Kitchen machines +53%
Food processors +26%
Source: GfK Market Intelligence: Sales Tracking Jan-Dec 2020. GR. Monthly Sales
Quick, deeper cleaning
Steam cleaners +48%
Washing machines with steam +43%
Tumble Dryers with steam +148%
Source: GfK Market Intelligence: Sales Tracking and Consumer Life, International Coverage, Jan-Dec 2020
Gaming keyboards +34%
Gaming mice +26%
Source: GfK Market Intelligence: Sales Tracking, Retail Channels, International coverage exl. North America and India. Date range: Jan-March 2020.
Taking ownership of our health
Portable purifiers +57%
Blood pressure monitors +44%
Personal scales +32%
Source: GfK Market Intelligence: Sales Tracking, Jan-August 2020, GfK Consumer Life 2019.
Portable air purifiers: Tracked countries: DE, TH, JP, NL, AT, TW, RU, SW, GB, IT
Blood pressure monitors: Tracked countries: FR, DE, GB, IT, NL, ES, CH
Personal scales: Tracked countries: JP, RU, AU, BE, FR, DE, GB, GR, IT, NL, PT, ES, CH
Tracking spending data of home appliances in 2020-2021 paints a picture of how global events shape consumer decision-making, shining a spotlight onto changing priorities and lifestyles. From an initial focus on health and hygiene, evidenced by a surge in sales of products such as digital thermometers, the pandemic then shifted people’s attention to making remote working, household chores, and leisure time easier and more enjoyable.
Now, as lockdown restrictions lift and people spend more time outside, sales for some consumer electronic categories will tell a different story. Sales of home entertainment devices such as televisions are slowing as consumers enjoy a return to socializing and eating out. And products that grew slowly last year will likely experience an uplift. If the vaccinations go well and travel and tourism pick-up, categories around aspirational products such as grooming, as well as cameras and photo-imaging, could see traction again.
Our data paints a picture of what home appliances consumers spent their money on in 2020-2021, while our experts discuss the underlying motivations behind these patterns.
Trends and forecasting
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