Intelligent and robot appliances are helping to boost different categories in the United Kingdom consumer appliance market. For example, robotic vacuum cleaners stimulated growth in the UK both in volume and value terms. In small cooking appliances, revolutionary appliances which make use of digital and interconnectivity technologies are contributing to make consumers‟ lives easier. Robotic and intelligent appliances are deemed as the next big driver for growth in consumer appliances and such innovative gadgets are becoming increasingly popular among middle class British households. The main impediment for growth remains the expensive price factor; however, with current economic situations in perspective, industry innovations will launch cheaper versions. Given the speed at which technology is progressing, fictional robots and intelligent appliances could rapidly become a reality for the masses.
There was a massive increase in smart phone usage in the UK during 2012. Consumers are very well aware of all the product lines in consumer appliances due to increased access to shop stores and exclusive retailer mobile apps. All the specialist retailers such as Currys, Argos, Tesco and Asda have their own mobile applications allowing consumers to compare products across the board. This impacted consumer knowledge and preferences to a large extent as consumers began to make their choices more diligently rather than just going by suggestion made by an in-store sales assistant. Smart phone access to products, however, also reduced the consumer effort and has made shopping experience much easier and simpler. Retailers are now focused on optimising these applications to compete against each other to win customers.
In late 2011, the European Union enforced the mandatory energy efficiency labelling standard on several major appliances. Manufacturers and distributors have to display the new EU label on or near each relevant product being commercialised. Mandatory enforcement which has initially been applied to refrigeration appliances, dishwashers, ovens, air conditioners and home laundry appliances will gradually be adopted for other appliances, in accordance with the policies in the UK during the forecast period.
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