The Internet of Things is starting to take hold and is promising consumers the ultimate control over the products in the home. Samsung head of marketing for digital appliances Melanie Rolfe discusses how it has responded to the demand
Q: How’s business compared with last year?
A: We have a fantastic line-up of products this year and feedback so far has been encouraging. At CES, we announced a range of products that continue to innovate in the category, including the Family Hub fridge and AddWash. This, coupled with positive signs for the economy and a growing sense of consumer confidence, means we are feeling pretty optimistic about 2016.
Q: What are the main challenges facing your sector and how are you tackling them?
A: Consumers now, more than ever, want to buy products that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. They want their products to look and perform with the highest quality. In our digital appliances business, we have achieved remarkable growth by debuting innovative products and bringing differentiated design to the premium market.
For instance, in our Chef Collection we have collaborated with world-renowned, Michelin-starred chefs, combining revolutionary technology with stunning design to give consumers all the precision, practicality and sophistication of a professional kitchen.
With the growth of the “internet of things”, we’re also finding that people want quicker, smarter ways to interact with and use their appliances. We’ve responded to this by making it easier to do things, such as control your washing machine or oven from your mobile phone, helping to make people’s lives easier and more convenient.
Q: If you were opening a retail showroom in this market, what would be your strategy?
A: Technology is transforming the retail sector, which is a hugely exciting opportunity for us, but now, more than ever, we need retailers and retail staff who can explain the end benefits of new and innovative technologies to customers. In a similar light, it is key that, in the store, retailers are both educating and bringing to life the experiential elements of technology and its benefits for customers.
Q: How do you think the relationship between retailers and suppliers is changing?
A: At Samsung, we are passionate about innovation and creating new technologies that enhance our customers’ lives for the better – and this experience starts at the point of sale. We are, therefore, committed to working closely with our suppliers and retail partners to ensure that they have everything they need to give our customers a seamless retail experience. This experience must be tailored to our customers’ needs and must also give them access to our wide portfolio of products.