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Sales of small household appliances plummet: poor quality, difficult after-sales service

Sales of small household appliances plummet: poor quality, difficult after-sales service

Yogurt machines, egg cookers, soymilk machines, air fryers, health pots… all kinds of small household appliances were once labeled as “exquisite life” and marketed out of the circle.

However, if the product itself is not successful, no matter how good the marketing is, it will be difficult for consumers to continue to pay, and the so-called market outlet will be difficult to sustain.

Data released by Aowei Cloud, a data research organization for the home appliance industry, shows that,The overall retail sales of small kitchen appliances in 2023 will be 54.93 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 9.6%.

Retail sales were 265 million units, a year-on-year decrease of 1.8%, online retail sales were 42.2 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 10.7%, and offline retail sales were 12.7 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 6%.

It can be said that small household appliances cannot be sold no matter in offline stores or online e-commerce channels. This kind of overall decline in sales data does not only occur in 2023. Looking forward to 2022, the story is the same, even worse.

In 2022, the retail sales of a total of 13 categories of small kitchen appliances fell by 6.7% year-on-year, and the retail volume fell by 12.7% simultaneously.

The bleak sales data of small home appliances cannot be saved even by the Double 11 e-commerce sales, which explodes in annual consumer traffic.

Aowei Cloud data shows that on Double 11 in 2023, online retail sales of small kitchen appliances such as soymilk machines, wall breakers, and blenders dropped by 16.7% year-on-year, and retail sales dropped by 12.2% year-on-year.

Among the total data for the first three quarters of 2023,Once a smash hit, the “air fryer” cooking artifact that can be used for everything has seen its retail sales plummet by 44.2%.It is close to being cut in half and can be called the fastest-collapsing subcategory.

Why did the once popular small appliances quickly fall out of favor? What is the reason that makes consumers gradually return to rationality and no longer pursue various small household appliances?

  1. Poor quality and difficult after-sales service are flaws.

“I bought a soymilk maker for more than 200 yuan, and I have to pay more than 100 to repair it?” Amin, a consumer, shared a bad experience of buying small home appliances with PConline.

More than a year ago, he came up with the idea of ​​making a cup of soy milk every day, which would be clean and healthy. A small household appliance like a soymilk maker was not expensive in itself, so A Ming quickly bought it.

As a result, after more than a year, he used it no more than 10 times in total, because it was too troublesome. If he wanted to drink homemade soy milk in the morning, Amin would have to get up earlier and prepare the beans first, or mix it with some corn, millet, rock sugar or something else.

After drinking the soy milk, you still have to clean and dry the machine. A complete set of operations will make Amin very hasty when he goes out to catch the subway to work.

If you forget to clean it after a long day, the residue left in the soy milk machine will quickly become moldy and attract some ants and flying insects. A Ming finally decided not to bother and continued to go to the breakfast shop to buy soy milk and fried dough sticks. The soymilk machine was also put in the cabinet and “gathered dust”.

Recently, A Ming wanted to take it out again to make some soy milk, but found that the machine did not respond when plugged in and could not be started. Because the warranty period had expired, the brand told him to send it back to the manufacturer for repair at his own expense, which was estimated to cost about 150 yuan for a round trip.

  The third-party electrical appliance repair shop said that the main control board was broken, and repair and replacement would cost at least 120 yuan. This made A Ming feel very bad. The original price was a little more than 200, and the maintenance cost was almost as much as buying a new one.

Even if it is repaired, it will not be used very often, so Amin chooses to suffer the “dumb loss” and give up. After this experience, he also admitted to PConline that he would never buy similar small household appliances again.

PConline also found on the Black Cat complaint platform that there are many similar complaints about the quality of small household appliances, covering various small household appliances such as soymilk machines, wall breakers, air fryers, and steam ovens.

Consumers who make complaints,Basically, it is said that the product fails after being used infrequently, or even after not being used a few times, thus raising questions about the quality level of the brand and product.

In addition to questioning product quality, PConline also observed that a large number of consumers complained about the brand’s after-sales service in their complaint details.

“After the warranty period, repair it yourself, or buy a new one” appears relatively frequently in consumers’ situation statements. This also shows that small home appliance brands lack a complete after-sales service system, and even generally act as hands-off shopkeepers for users who have expired the warranty period, pretending to be indifferent.

Some industry analysts have said that the entry threshold for small household appliances is not high, they are frequently updated, and the after-sales maintenance systems of manufacturers are generally not very complete. Once a problem occurs with a small household appliance, it is most likely to occur in the core components. This is the most expensive component of small household appliances, so the repair cost will be relatively expensive.

In terms of design, small household appliances tend to be smaller in size, generally adopt relatively sophisticated internal structures, and various components have been integrated and modularized. When a fault occurs, it often needs to be replaced as a whole, which cannot be solved by simply dealing with a certain part. This is also one of the important reasons why repair prices remain high.

Problems such as poor quality and difficult after-sales are common problems in the consumer market. Data from the China Consumers Association show that a total of 1.328 million complaints were received in 2023, a year-on-year increase of 15.33%. According to the nature of complaints, the top three are after-sales service issues (34.66%), contract issues (24.65%) and quality issues (19.98%).

If divided according to the categories of goods and services, 53.03% of the 1.328 million complaints were complaints about physical goods. Compared with 2022, the proportion increased by 1.58%. The subdivisions with the largest number of complaints and growth are all home appliances, accounting for 11.9%, an increase of 1.35% from 2022.

It can be seen that the entire category of home appliances always has problems of poor quality and difficult after-sales service. The China Consumers Association did not continue to split according to the field of small household appliances.

However, the Consumer Electronics Survey Office of the China Electronics Chamber of Commerce has provided survey data earlier, showing that only 41.7% of users are satisfied with the online shopping of small home appliances services.

These facts and data basically prove the core pain points in the field of small household appliances. If quality and after-sales issues are not better improved and solved, it will always be difficult for the small household appliances market to welcome “repeat customers.” A one-time deal is destined to be short-lived.

  2. Can small household appliances be saved?

Another core problem with small home appliances is that marketing is greater than reality, and it is difficult to get rid of the false propaganda labels of false demand and IQ tax.

To put it simply, in the early period of explosive growth of small household appliances, excessive marketing and packaging were common, creating various demand scenarios for “exquisite life”.

After experiencing the actual use experience of consumers, it was found that the demand for use is not as high as imagined. After the so-called “exquisite life” bubble was burst, small household appliances did not bring the expected benefits in addition to deflating wallets. wonderful experience and improved quality of life.

Not only that, consumers have gradually discovered that various small household appliances with a single function, such as ovens, air fryers, wall breakers, coffee machines, induction cookers, etc., often occupy a large amount of kitchen and indoor space, which has given rise to A large number of consumer groups mainly with small houses have a reason to reject small household appliances.

After experiencing a round of failed experience and education in the consumption of small home appliances, a large number of consumers finally discovered that the end of the so-called lazy economy and stay-at-home economy is still the Internet instant delivery model represented by takeout and home delivery of groceries.

When the wind subsides, the capital market will give the most direct feedback. In 2022, after the small home appliance industry index reached a high of 683.43 yuan, it began to decline sharply and entered a cycle of continuous shock and decline. It is now hovering at a level of around 460 yuan.

In fact, as early as 2021, the bubble of small household appliances has already begun to burst. At that time, Xianyu compiled a list of the “Top Ten Useless Products of the Year” based on platform data. Small appliances occupied three of the lists, namely the air fryer ranked first, the breakfast machine ranked fifth, and the wall-breaking machine ranked seventh. .

Xianyu’s data logic for selecting these “useless products” is also very simple. It is based on the data statistics of products on the platform that use keywords such as “unused” and “dusty” as reasons for resale.

This also means that behind these small home appliances are consumers who are disappointed when the products do not meet their expectations after making impulse purchases. Not willing to throw it away, but also too lazy to use it, reselling it at a low price is indeed a more suitable choice, so we have these statistics from Xianyu.

Unable to capture the domestic market, going overseas may be a choice that small home appliance companies have to make. Relevant reports from the data agency Statista show that the compound growth rate of the global market size of small household appliances from 2018 to 2022 is 4.46%. The market demand is relatively stable, and the demand for updates and category penetration are expected to jointly drive it to maintain good growth. It is expected that the size of the global small household appliances market in 2028 to US$305 billion,

In terms of regions, Asia is the largest consumer region of small household appliances, followed by Europe and the United States. In 2022, the total sales of small household appliances in Europe and the United States will be US$95.4 billion, corresponding to approximately 41%.

This also shows that in addition to the Chinese market, other overseas regional markets still have huge room for growth for small home appliance companies to deploy and develop.

However, forging iron requires hard work. Before looking forward to future growth stories, small home appliance companies need to first solve core issues such as product quality, after-sales system, and demand pain points.

If there are no improvements and breakthroughs in these aspects, the so-called growth and overseas stories will only be illusory castles in the air.

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