As 2020 raged with the pandemic, home appliances industry in our country, like many other sectors, has faced unprecedented challenges. As this fateful year ends and we prep ourselves to live the ‘new normal’ way in 2021, the exciting news of the arrival of multiple COVID-19 vaccines is helping restore consumer’s confidence and revive demand for companies in home appliances sector.
At this point in time, here are the top 5 trends that are expected to sway the Indian home appliances industry in 2021:
Boost in Domestic Manufacturing: Following the recent India-China standoff, the clarion call for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ by Government, and Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes, domestic manufacturing for household appliance products is expected to give a prolific boost in 2021. Many companies in the home appliances sector have already started to ‘Manufacture in India’, limit and/ or eliminate imports and produce new products based on localized needs, features or India-specific innovations. Since the imported commodity price for consumer electronics products is anticipated to increase in 2021, it will further propel the trend of manufacturing domestically.
Home Utility & Wellness Products to Become the Rage: As the ongoing saga of work-from-home or remote work and online learning trickles ahead to the next year and people continue to stay indoors for longer hours, utilitarian products which complement the stay-at-home and do-things-yourself lifestyle are booming in demand. For instance, household appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, indoor air purifiers, washing machines, and low-cost as well as premium electronic devices are expected to be bought and sold in large volumes in the coming year. Also, given that the pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of healthy living, a new and innovative category of wellness products has come up as ‘need of the hour’ solution; these types of anti-COVID, anti-infection, or health-consciousness-based home appliances will again be in high demand in 2021.
Digital-First Business Will Be Priority: The whole world turned to online and digital during COVID, and the home appliances sector can obviously be no exception. 2021 will be the year when both big and small-sized companies in this industry will be compelled to focus whole-heartedly on digital-first business strategies. Even traditional product-based home appliance players may switch entirely from ‘brick-and-mortar stores and shops’ to e-tail or digital commerce, or will at least try to go ‘phygital’ (physical+digital). The companies will also be looking at using digital tools/ technologies to engage and interact with consumers (especially tech-savvy millennial customers), market their products, optimize operations, and so on.
Purposeful Innovation for Future-Forward Advancement: In order to stay relevant and ahead-of-the-curve in these uncertain times amid changing consumer behaviour(s), home appliance makers are currently feeling the need to diversify product portfolios and innovate purposefully and mindfully. In today’s age when consumers are increasingly looking for personalized and easy-to-use products and/ or experiences, product or technology-based innovation in home appliances must focus on 3Cs, i.e. convenience, connectedness, and customizability to the end-users. By integrating novel technologies such as IOT (Internet of Things) or AI (Artificial Intelligence) into products/ solutions, future-forward companies will be looking to aid the lifestyle and solve daily-life household problems/ challenges of their potential customers.
‘Go Green and Clean’ Will Be In: The global virus outbreak has not only made us more health-conscious, but also collectively raised our consciousness and commitment towards the environment, and for providing cleaner and greener solutions for planet Earth. For the Indian home appliance industry, the upcoming year ushers a great opportunity to come up with more environment-friendly products. Furthermore, a large number of companies building/ manufacturing the appliances are expected to re-look and transform their production and distribution value chain (from sourcing, manufacturing to packaging and so on) in a way so that maximum use of clean energy and eco-friendly products or raw materials can be made, and the circular economy concept can be embraced for good.