Recently, data released by Ovi Cloud showed that small kitchen appliances have been under pressure in the past year. In 2022, the retail sales of 13 categories of small kitchen appliances in China will reach 52.03 billion yuan, down 6.7% year on year; The retail volume was 22.049 million units, down 12.7% year on year.
At the same time, the industry has taken the initiative to transform to high-end and intelligent, and the small kitchen appliances industry has also become more and more "rolled". However, some people in the industry worry about whether small kitchen appliances have also fallen into the high-end trap?
Hidden worries of high-end trap
The concept of "high-end trap" was first put forward in China's automobile industry. Some automobile brands in the lower reaches of the market competition tried to achieve the goal of overtaking at corners by launching so-called "high-end" automobile products. However, these "high-end" cars are almost all reflected in the larger vehicles and the crazier configurations. However, they are not supported by the profound connotation of a hundred years of history, the precipitation of history and the unique style. In the end, we can only do white work.
Later, people found that in some industries where the market growth hit the ceiling, they were easily caught in the "high-end trap": they first made the slogan of high-end, but the action did not go through market research, and finally wasted time and money. For example, the sweeping robot industry, which has recently encountered growth bottlenecks.
According to home appliance website, Kaiyuan Securities Research Report pointed out that the average price of domestic sweeping robots rose from 1687 yuan in 2020 to 2424 yuan in 2021 and 3175 yuan in 2022. At this time, it is less than five years before the sweeping robot is popularized in the Chinese market. At the same time, according to the data of Ovi Cloud, in 2021, the average price of the sweeping robot will rise while the sales volume will fall, but the sales volume will continue to rise in most months. Since 2022, the simultaneous decline of online sales and sales of sweeping robots has become more frequent. The high-end strategy has gradually had a negative impact on manufacturers' income. Many consumers are unwilling to pay for expensive high-end products and are unwilling to compromise low-end products, resulting in sluggish demand.
Some experts said that it is not realistic for manufacturers to blindly bet on high-end products in the market of floor sweeping robots under the condition of weak consumption. Some high-end products have excessive features and are not attractive to consumers. At present, we can look forward to the recovery of overall consumer confidence to drive the sales of products such as sweeping robots aimed at consumer upgrading demand, while manufacturers can pay more attention to the waist market with growth potential at the price of 2000~3000 yuan.
Looking back at the kitchen appliance market, a similar phenomenon has also occurred: almost all small appliance enterprises hope to make a breakthrough in the high-end market, and head brands such as Suber and Bear have announced that they will work hard on the technical research and development of products. This also led to an increase of 9.7% in the average online retail prices of 13 categories of kitchen appliances in 2022, the largest increase since 2016.
However, the high-end of small kitchen appliances seems not to have achieved results. In addition to the double decline in the market volume mentioned at the beginning, the performance of Beiding, represented by the high-end positioning, has also halved. According to official data, in 2022, Beiding launched electrical appliances, supplies and food products including "mini multi-function cooking pot", "18cm cast iron small frying pan", "tiger and tiger silica gel pad", "ceramic steamed egg plate", "reunion red brocade series tableware - soup bowl&noodle bowl", "white fungus small hanging pear soup", "white fungus mulberry hawthorn", "white fungus soybean milk", etc., with poor market performance.
Industry insiders believe that in the post-epidemic era, the small household appliance industry has entered the stock competition, and consumers have changed from blindly following the trend to clear demand. In order to achieve incremental performance, small household appliance enterprises must have innovative products that meet the needs of consumers, and truly realize the high-end of products, not just the "high-end" of prices.
Is it necessary to "high-end" kitchen appliances?
At first, small kitchen appliances quickly became popular on the Internet, relying on the development of social platforms and the popularity of online celebrity live broadcast. In addition to the impact of the "home economy" caused by the epidemic, and the price of small household appliances is generally relatively affordable, users can more efficiently convert products into orders after planting grass on social platforms, and the cost of trial and error is small, and consumers are never soft when placing orders.
However, this also adds the attribute of "FMCG" to kitchen appliances. Many people said that they need to have a more comprehensive understanding of the so-called small appliances that enhance happiness. With the emergence of new marketing methods and channel formats, the impulse consumption of small household appliances has become more prominent.
Similarly, this also led to the saturation of the kitchen appliance market in 2021 and serious overcapacity. In the first half of 2021, the retail sales of small household appliances totaled 25.08 billion yuan, down 8.6% year on year; The retail volume was 119.11 million units, down 8.2% year on year.
Nowadays, small household appliance enterprises want to remove their label of "low unit price and low threshold" through high-end, but it is easy to change from frugality to extravagance, and it is difficult to change from extravagance to frugality. The attribute of "fast moving consumer goods" of small kitchen appliances has been deeply engraved in the minds of consumers. At this time, it is difficult for consumers to accept the high-end and price increase proposed by enterprises.
From the perspective of the existing kitchen small household appliances, the industry still has the characteristics of low technical threshold, simple production process and easy to be copied. If the small household appliance enterprises do not come up with high-tech functions that can not be easily copied, the so-called "high-end" in the mouth of enterprises is just a piece of empty talk. Some insiders worry that the lack of brand premium capability makes some small kitchen appliance enterprises blindly set high prices, but then they have to lower the price range under the test of the market and are forced to "dive", resulting in adverse impact on the development of enterprises.
Li Tao, editor-in-chief of Home Appliance Network, believes that small kitchen appliances should first be recognized by the market if they want to enter the high-end market. The key to the market's recognition of small kitchen appliances lies in whether the majority of users are satisfied with the use experience of their products and have a deeper expectation. At present, small kitchen appliances still need to be kept at a low price. On the basis of low price, let the products go through the high-quality strategy, rather than abuse.