17 Aug 2023

The rise and boom of robotics

The market for robot vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers has experienced steady growth in recent years. 

Robot vacuum cleaners have become a staple in households worldwide. They offer efficient and time-saving solutions for cleaning floors. With advanced sensors and intelligent navigation systems, these devices can autonomously navigate. This way they detect obstacles, and efficiently clean hard-to-reach areas. Mapping technology enables them to create an internal map of the home. Additionally, scheduling capabilities allow users to set cleaning times in advance. This ensures that their homes are cleaned even when they are not present.

A new Generation of Robots

22.5 % of total vacuum cleaners sold today are robot vacuum cleaners. However, after peak sales in 2020 and 2021, robots’ overall sales have now slowed: falling by -6.7 % in Jan-May 2023, in line with total vacuum cleaner market deceleration. By drilling down deeper, however, we find emerging areas of growth.

Nearly 86 % of the robot assortments are smart and are loaded with features which enhance convenience. While older generation robot models could either do dry suction or mopping only, such robots are on decline. New generation, multifunctional robot models, which can vacuum and mop, grew by 3 % from Jan-May 2023. Models which have suction of dry and wet dirt grew by +92 % in the same period.

Another major innovation in the past years has been the upgrading of the robots with docking stations. The 1st generation of docking stations only allowed charging – and this segment is already in decline. Models which allow charging and dry suction grew marginally by 1 % over the first five months of the year. But the latest docking stations, which allow for dry and wet suction, are growing at a strong triple-digit from Jan-May 2023.

Mowing the lawn – no longer a chore thanks to robotics

Similarly, robot lawnmowers can mow the lawn independently, adjusting their cutting patterns based on the lawn size and shape. They offer homeowners freedom from manual mowing, allowing them to save time and effort. Approximately 20.5 % of total lawnmowers sold are robot lawnmowers which often offer features such as boundary wires and adaptive cutting height adjustment. Magnetic virtual barriers in robot lawnmowers grew from Jan-May 2023 – but there are alternatives like virtual navigation which has potential for significant growth  – similar to robot vacuum cleaners.

Despite ongoing pressure on consumers’ disposable income, shoppers are still willing to spend on products that offer advanced levels of convenience, versatility, and effectiveness. This offers a critical area of growth for manufacturers and retailers in an otherwise depressed market. 

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Based on a new partnership between GfK SE, gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH and IFA Management GmbH, we are providing regular information on market developments and trends in the consumer electronics and home appliances industry. Interesting insights, current market figures, consumer trends and much more will be professionally prepared for you from the sources of the three expert partners.

Find more articles from this series here (in German)

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