The high price of smart sanitary wares needs to be recognized

Smart bathroom is expensive and lonely

Smart toilet seat cover, magnetic suspension washbasin, luminous massage bathtub, automatic thermostatic shower ... In recent years, new products launched by well-known bathroom companies have become more and more "smart." The industry generally believes that "intelligence" will become the future development direction of bathroom products. However, in the face of these smart bathroom products, although consumers look fresh, they also have their own questions about product safety and service life. On the other hand, high prices have completely wiped out some people's buying enthusiasm. Are smart sanitary products really caught in the embarrassing situation of applauding and not applauding?

Smart bathroom enters the market at high price to be recognized

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Since the beginning of this year, the major well-known sanitary ware brands have invariably focused their promotion on the "smart" field. In March, Kohler launched an intelligent toilet that can automatically open and close the cover; in May, Huida Sanitaryware displayed its washbasin with magnetic suspension technology at the Shanghai Sanitary Ware Exhibition; recently, TOTO was in the future space exhibition hall in Beijing The prominent position shows "full intelligent bathroom suite".

In order to understand consumers' views on smart sanitary wares, this newspaper has jointly conducted a consumer survey with a website.

The survey results show that nearly 90% of the respondents have some knowledge of smart bathroom products. However, less than 10% of consumers have used such products.

Price is one of the reasons why the respondent failed to try smart bathroom products. The data shows that 38.6% of the respondents said they are interested in smart bathroom products, but they cannot afford them because they are too expensive. About 24% of the respondents said that they are watching, because smart bathroom products are new, and their performance and service life are yet to be observed. At the same time, nearly 20% of the respondents have a recent purchase plan.

At the same time, the survey data shows that more than 90% of the respondents are willing to accept a full set of smart bathroom products with a price of less than 10,000 yuan.

· Market Watch ·

International brand smart product "peek-a-boo"

When the reporter visited the home store, he found that although almost all well-known international sanitary ware brands launched their own “smart” new products in high-profile this year, the physical products of these smart products are not common in the store.

Among the international sanitary ware brands in a home store in Dongsihuan, the reporter only saw the real products of smart products in the Lejia and TOTO sanitary ware exhibition halls.

Lejia Sanitary Ware placed a smart toilet newly launched last year in a prominent position in the exhibition hall. In addition to the bright colors, the appearance of this product is not much different from ordinary toilets. If there is no explanation from the sales staff, it is difficult to connect it with "intelligence" when there is no electricity or water.

In the Kohler showroom, the reporter did not see any trace of smart products. After inquiries, the salesperson in the store told reporters that the brand does have products such as smart toilets and smart bathtubs, but there are no physical objects in the store. "And all the exhibition halls in Beijing have no physical objects." The product atlas points out several smart products to choose from. As for the function of the product, it is all verbally described by the sales staff.

A similar situation also happened in the exhibition hall of GROHE Bathroom. When the reporter asked about a kitchen faucet that can automatically generate soda water, the salesperson also handed the reporter an atlas and said that the price of the product was about 30,000. yuan. However, another older salesperson at the store told reporters that this product generally does not accept single orders unless it is ordered in bulk.

Domestic brands promote smart toilets

The reporter found in the store that most domestic bathroom brands have launched smart toilet products. Different from the hiding of international brands, domestic brands put these smart products in the most prominent position in the exhibition hall.

When the sales staff found that the reporter was standing in front of the product, they would enthusiastically come to introduce the heating and cleaning functions of the intelligent toilet and the various health benefits of using the product. Even in the showroom where there are no smart products, when asked by reporters, the sales staff mostly said that the company's smart products have been successfully developed and will arrive in the near future.

The reporter found that the current domestic sanitary ware brand's smart sanitary ware products are often dominated by smart toilets, and it is impossible to achieve full intelligence in the sanitary ware space. At the same time, the style of the smart toilet is relatively simple, and consumers have little choice.

Product features Main automatic function

When the reporter visited, he found that whether it is a toilet, a bathtub or a shower, most of the current smart bathroom products play an "automatic card". Some will be manually turned into CNC, while others have evolved into automatic induction.

"This toilet can be automatically opened and closed by the induction system, and you don't need to open and close the lid with your hands when you use it." Kohler bathroom sales staff told reporters that the intelligent toilet can also be automatically cleaned, and the traditional water jet can replace the traditional one. Toilet paper.

The reporter saw in the TOTO future space exhibition hall that when a person approaches, a fully automatic wash basin will automatically emit blue light, and the water flow will automatically flow out according to the set temperature. According to the staff, through different program settings, the faucet will provide different modes of water flow.

It is understood that the current unit prices of smart products of international sanitary ware brands are all in the tens of thousands of yuan. Sales staff said that most of these products are imported from abroad or domestic assembly of foreign parts, so the price is much higher than domestic products. The price of domestic smart bathroom toilet integrated smart toilets is mostly from 6,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan, and the price of intelligent toilet seats is around 4,000 yuan.

·Industry Status·

Products are sold to five-star hotels and luxury mansions

At present, the unit prices of smart products of international sanitary ware brands are all above 10,000 yuan, and the sales in the retail market are not ideal. Although the prices of domestic smart sanitary ware products are slightly lower, they are mainly based on smart toilets or smart toilet seats, and the varieties are relatively single.

Wu Zhaohui, director of the marketing department of TOTO (China) Co., Ltd., said that at present, a full set of smart bathroom products are more sold to five-star hotels or hardcover luxury projects.

"Many people who have the experience of studying abroad or foreign travel experience, they gradually realize and experience the life enjoyment brought by the intelligent bathroom space." Wu Zhaohui said that with the improvement of domestic living standards, there are many The high-end people with economic strength are actively looking for and using smart bathroom products when decorating their houses. "However, this situation is not common."

Qiao Senpeng, deputy general manager of Beijing Lehua Juncheng Building Materials Co., Ltd., who represents Wrigley Sanitary Ware, said that only when the income and consumption concepts of consumer groups have reached certain standards can smart sanitary ware be popularized. Since the consumer groups of high-end hotels and clubs meet this standard, this field is currently the "main battlefield" for smart bathroom product competition.

R & D investment pushes up smart product prices

The reporter found in the investigation that the price of smart bathroom products is usually several times or even dozens of times higher than that of ordinary products. According to industry insiders, high R & D costs are the most important reason.

"Since smart bathroom products involve electronics and other fields, their R & D investment is dozens or even hundreds of times that of ordinary products." Lin Zhijie, marketing director of Tangshan Huida Ceramics Group Co., Ltd. said that the R & D expenses of ordinary ceramic products are usually 20,000 or 30,000 yuan However, since 2005, the company has invested more than 10 million yuan in the research and development of smart bathroom products.

"From R & D to production of smart bathroom products, the company has invested nearly 50 million yuan." Hong Yongqiang, deputy general manager of Jimu Group Kemu Intelligent Kitchen and Bathroom Co., Ltd., said that ordinary toilet products usually only need 2 million to 3 million yuan from research and development to production.

At the same time, the reporter also learned that at present, the smart sanitary wares of foreign brands have not yet been fully domestically produced, and the core components such as smart modules and integrated circuits of the products are all imported from abroad. In order to ensure the stability and service life of their products, many domestic manufacturers of smart bathroom products, such as water and electricity control systems and other electronic accessories rely on imports. This is also one of the reasons for the high cost of smart bathroom products.

Family popularity is unrealistic in the short term

Sanitary ware products are bound to develop in the direction of intelligence. This is a consensus generally reached in the industry, but it has to be admitted that the current acceptance of smart sanitary products in China is not high.

"In Japan and South Korea, people started using smart toilets more than 20 years ago, and the current usage rate of this product has reached more than 90%." Wu Zhaohui said that the current penetration rate of smart toilets in China is still very low, and other smart bathrooms The utilization rate of the product is even lower.

"In the past two years, the sales of smart bathroom products have grown rapidly. Compared with other products, the growth rate of smart bathroom products has increased by 40% to 50%." Qiao Senpeng said that even if the growth is rapid, its sales accounted for only 10% %about. He believes that the current situation is related to the positioning of the brand. It now appears that smart sanitary ware is not a mass product, and most consumers do not understand smart sanitary products. The dealer's business area is limited, and it is impossible to leave a large amount of display space for a full set of smart bathroom products that few people care about. Therefore, it is difficult to promote smart bathroom products overnight. Product distributors mostly start with smart toilets and adopt a gradual promotion strategy.

· Business view ·

Promoting smart bathroom is a long-term process

Wu Zhaohui, Director of Marketing Department, TOTO Sales Department

In recent years, the sales volume of smart bathroom products has grown rapidly. Taking the smart toilet seat as an example, its sales volume in China is growing geometrically. But even so, it still accounts for a small percentage of corporate sales. The market acceptance of standardized products such as smart toilet seats is still the same, and the proportion of other personalized smart products is even smaller. Therefore, the comprehensive popularization of smart bathroom products is a long-term process. Only if consumers really experience the comfort and convenience brought by smart products can universalization become a reality.

R & D needs to pay attention to intellectual property

Lin Zhijie Marketing Director of Tangshan Huida Ceramics Group

For well-known domestic bathroom manufacturers, intellectual property is a problem that cannot be avoided. In fact, smart bathroom products have become very popular abroad, especially in Japan and South Korea. However, the smart bathroom in China is still new. For domestic sanitary ware companies that have just stepped into this field, if they are researched and developed according to the ideas of foreign products, no matter how much they invest, their products can only be regarded as replicas. Therefore, when developing smart bathroom products, domestic companies should focus on developing their own products and attach importance to independent intellectual property rights.

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