As we’ve all settled into evenings together having dinner, playing games and watching movies with family, the things that make running a household smoothly has topped our gratitude list. It’s no secret that we are relying on our home appliances not only to help clean and sanitize, but to provide a little peace of mind as well.
As you ask more from your appliances, you may be wondering if it’s time to upgrade your hardest working machines – the dishwasher, washer and dryer, or refrigerator. Are there features such as a sanitize cycle or an improved quietness rating that would make a lot of sense to you and your family right now?
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our buying patterns. It shifted the way we think about our homes. We no longer consider appliances a luxury, but rather a necessity. And, it is during COVID-19 and quarantine, that we’ve noticed the emergence of five new buying patterns:
Buying Pattern 1: Increased Wear and Tear Surges Demand for Replacements
The first buying pattern we have noticed is an uptick in replacing older appliances. Spending days and weeks mostly indoors means running a lot more cycles than usual and that can impact the longevity of our appliances. As we continue to shelter in place, we cook and tend to housekeeping more often. Some of us have taken online cooking classes, or find ourselves baking more which means using our stoves and ovens multiple times a day. The experimentation and creativity of mastering new recipes, or even preparing home-cooked meals on a more regular basis, has made us take a closer look at the features of our kitchen appliances.
The life-span and reliability of home appliance brands are hotly debated topics but it really comes down to frequency, how you use your appliances and the technologies built into the appliance rather than brand-name recognition. The focus of premium brands is to design for reliability and a 15-20 year lifespan. Coupled with vast market-research, these brands incorporate the latest features that speak to today’s lifestyle.
Buying Pattern 2: Increased Need for Convenience
The second trend we’ve been noticing is an increased need for convenience. Today, we rely more and more on our home appliances to help in our daily routines. As we settle into our home office for the day, it is reassuring to launder our sheets with a sanitize cycle. And, as we settle into evenings together having dinner, playing games, and watching movies, we are grateful for the quiet efforts of our hard-working dishwasher.
But, maybe you have wondered if it’s the right time to replace certain appliances. Maybe the dishwasher’s dry cycle is leaving a thin film on your water glasses or you notice small holes in your sheets and linens. Maybe your older dryer isn’t up to modern energy-efficiency ratings and the cycle is uncomfortably long and your utility bill is a little too high.
As we use our home appliances more frequently, several of us have started to wonder if there are more modern features that minimize the time spent on chores. Since manufacturers do vast amounts of market research, they are constantly improving features, designs and energy-efficiency. It is a good time to upgrade since everyone is home and planning for a delivery is no longer an obstacle. There’s also peace of mind not having to worry about keeping an older appliance chugging along in the coming years.
Buying Pattern 3: Mitigating Health Risks
The third change in appliance buying patterns on our radar is the newly increased need for mitigating health risks and concerns. Appliances that help with sanitization have become vital to keeping families healthy in the COVID-19 era. Throughout the past three years, sanitation cycle options in appliances have become standardized, with each brand offering a variety of features and functions.
Sanitization is particular to dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers. Very high heat is the active germ-fighting factor in a sanitizing cycle that makes it incredibly effective in killing all forms of bacteria and viruses. “During a sanitizing rinse, water can reach around 150° F and circulate to reduce a range of bacteria commonly found on linens, dishes, glassware, and stemware,” says GE Appliances Director of Engineering, Steve Hettinger. If you have been considering the purchase of an appliance with sanitizing capabilities, we more than happy to review different dishwasher and washer-dryer choices for you and your family.
Buying Pattern 4: Budget Priorities
While staying at home, the shelter in place order has had its challenges, but it has also come with a few added benefits, including more time spent with family and loved ones. Those of us who are no longer commuting to work are saving on gas and travel expenses, those pricey lattes, eating out, and the costs of extracurricular activities. Shifting our budget to improve the quality of life in our home plays a huge role in why the fourth appliance buying pattern during the COVID-19 pandemic is the purchase of new appliances.
While appliances typically stretch the family budget, we have noted an increase in prioritizing the household budget for these purchases. What was once optional and ‘nice-to-have’ is now a ‘must-have’. At the same time, we all want to support local businesses. As an added benefit, purchasing from a local business such as ours means that you will know the delivery and installation team coming to your home. As a small business, we ensure that our employees have a temperature check each morning before their route and we strictly adhere to state and OSHA regulations to protect everyone.
Buying Pattern 5: BBQs Became an ‘Essential’ Item
Our fifth noted change to appliance buying patterns during COVID-19 is the increased need for at-home entertainment and summer-friendly fun. Each year, as the warmer days approach, there is a seasonal increase in demand for gas grills and backyard appliances from families who love to take advantage of their outdoor spaces. This year, however, we saw a major spike.
After the initial slow-down of landscapers purchasing built-in barbecue packages for their clients due to the pause in their ability to work, we saw families and homeowners making the decisions to purchase outdoor BBQs on their own. The desire to experience the outdoors began to extend into how people decided to prepare their food. They want to spend more time outside while trying new gadgets, hobbies, recipes, and cooking styles, which results in an increase of sales in items like smokers such as the Green Egg, and even more so freestanding grills.
We’ve outlined 5 recent changes to appliance buying patterns that we’ve noticed in the COVID-19 era. We’d love to hear about your experiences, as well. How has your relationship to your home appliances changed over the last few months? Have you experienced an increased level of interaction with, or appreciation for your home appliances? Have you recently replaced or upgraded your appliances? If so, what was the driving factor, and how was your installation experience?
Although we pride ourselves on being a trusted online and brick-and-mortar appliance store serving New Jersey and New York, we always love hearing from you. Our blog and Youtube channel are popular among people who like to research products before making a purchase, so feel free to leave us a comment or subscribe. As always, our Designer Appliances staff is happy to assist you wherever you are in your home appliance journey, whether you have a question about a specific feature or are ready to design your dream kitchen.
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SIDENOTE. This post was last modified on September 19, 2020. However, we regularly update our content as we test more products and new models are released. We also listen to the feedback of our customers and make changes to our product recommendations based on their experiences. So don’t be surprised if you see some old comments below! Since reader comments contribute to the topic, we have decided not to delete them.