2020 Insights: Millennials Purchasing Appliances

Millennials Prefer Buying Appliances In-Store

Having grown up with the internet, millennials are very comfortable shopping online. However there are some purchases that they still prefer to make in-store. Appliances are one of these categories.

They Visit a Store with the Intention to Buy

The number one reason millennials visit a store, is to purchase. It may also be a continuation of their product research; seeing the product before making a decision.

This is about experiencing or interacting with the product themselves and is a key opportunity for the right salesperson – one who understands and can relate to the millennial shopper – to influence their perceptions, highlight positive reviews/user experiences, and reinforce or shape their existing bias.

Before visiting a store a majority of the millennials who buy appliances in-store have already researched products and considered reviews.

Closing the Sale

Millennial consumers have a world of choice at their fingertips, and can compare pricing and deals offered by various retailers in moments. While they are shopping in-store, a majority are also looking elsewhere for a better deal, either with another retailer, or online. Offering and promoting price matching is one way retailers can encourage millennials to make the purchase while in their store.

Retailers can also encourage in-store purchase by adding value in other ways; delivery and installation, free trial period, detailed post-purchase product demonstration, collection of old appliances for reuse or recycling, and free or discounted add-on of complementary products.

Millennials Are Interested in Owning New Smart & Special Appliances

Cost and Indecisiveness are Barriers to Purchase

Cost is the number one barrier to millennials purchasing smart and special appliances, particularly for higher priced items such as smart white-goods and robotic vacuum cleaners. However uncertainty about whether they would enjoy using, or get value out of their purchase, and also uncertainty about which product would be most suitable for their needs also prevents many millennial consumers from pursuing purchase of smart appliances.

Retailers have an opportunity to overcome barriers and encourage purchase of smart and special appliances amongst millennials by demonstrating value to consumers.

Sales staff who can listen and understand customer needs can point consumers in the direction of the most suitable product, and explain product benefits to eliminate confusion or overwhelming product choice.                                                    

In-store demonstrations and at-home trial periods would allow millennials to have more confidence in their purchase decisions, particularly for big purchases such as smart fridges and washing machines.

Physical Retail is an Important Touchpoint in the Online Sales Process

Results from a survey of 400 consumers who had recently purchased a robotic vacuum cleaner online show that the bricks and mortar retail channel plays an important role in the buying and decision making processes of online appliance shoppers.

While Amazon accounted for the highest proportion of purchases, many consumers had purchased online from traditional retailers.

Regardless of which website they purchased from, a majority of consumers visited a retail store prior to making the purchase, with most then buying online within a week.

This suggests that consumers visit a store when they are almost ready to buy but may still be deciding between options, or wanting to see or test the product first. This pre-purchase reconnaissance presents an excellent opportunity to influence the decision making process.

Knowledgeable well-trained staff can either reinforce the consumer’s existing product preference, or present an alternative which they may not have considered.

Demonstrating the product in-store, and addressing consumer questions or concerns also help the shape the decision, allowing consumers to feel comfortable making the purchase either in-store or online.

While most consumers buying appliances from an online retailer such as Amazon have their purchase delivered, just over half of those who bought from the website of a bricks and mortar retailer picked up the item in-store. This provides an additional touchpoint for building on the consumer relationship and may also present an opportunity to suggest add-ons such as extended warranty or complementary products.

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