STIEBEL ELTRON expands channels, products and customer segments to boost sales during COVID
Developing its eCommerce ecosystem, introducing more sustainable solutions, and expanding its product range to reach new market segments have been key to success in Thailand during 2021, according to STIEBEL ELTRON, a leading German manufacturer of water heaters, water filters, hand-dryers, heat pumps and water pumps.
As retailers closed during the pandemic, STIEBEL ELTRON adapted to changing shopping habits by joining eCommerce partners to release new products and attract new customers. During 2021 to date, online sales have recorded growth of more than 70%, driven by eCommerce channels, particularly retailers expanding their online presence. The company recorded an increase in growth as a result of a reduced pricing strategy.
“Despite the marketing being affected by retail store closures and a slow-down in construction projects we were able to maintain sales levels by focusing our efforts online, as consumer demand remained consistent. These difficult circumstances gave us the opportunity to reassess our business and our customer, and that also resulted STIEBEL ELTRON being able to attract a new audience by creating products specifically for the more price sensitive C-Segment. This has allowed us to maintain sales levels, which also means staff levels and salaries have been maintained too.” said Mr. Roland Hoehn, Managing Director of STIEBEL ELTRON ASIA.
Sustainable products that help consumers save money as well as protecting the environment have also played an increasingly important role in STIEBEL ELTRON’s product offer. According to a study, customers are now more concerned with product quality, delivery times and environmental and sustainability approaches, and a range of products were introduced during 2021 to meet these changing needs.
Product highlights during the year include:
• The sleek all-black model XG Super Black sold exclusively through online channels such as Shopee, Lazada and JD Central with a limited edition of 1,000 units available.
• DCM7 water heater equipped with a newly developed Rapid Composite Heater that enables the quicker hot water production.
• STIEBEL LIFE, a modern water dispenser designed for the stylish looking homes, offices and workplaces. It includes a premium MAXSTREAM water filter.
• MAXSOFT, a compact and high-quality water softener for enhancing the quality of drinking water in coffee machines, icemakers and hot and cold water dispensers. This is an excellent choice for cafes and restaurants
To help customers save money during the COVID-19 crisis, STIEBEL ELTRON also introduced a new series of affordable water heaters that allow consumers to conserve water while still enjoying a warm shower every day. The DE, AQE, and WS models are part of the the Safe-Save series designed for Thai families, singles and first jobbers who value the highest German design standards. The launch of these three models is to broaden its market reach and introduce the brand to a new demographic of consumers. STIEBEL ELTRON targeted the Northern and Northeast regions of Thailand with these models before expanding to other parts of the country, enabling the company to broaden its customer base and attract new, price-sensitive customers.
After the lockdown resulted in a temporary closure of dealers across the country, STIEBEL ELTRON strenghtened its eCommerce strategy to record growth in domestic sales, as water heaters and other product lines considered essential for Thai residential lifestyles. The company expects to grow by 5% in 2021, compared to 2020, following the relaxation of strict national regulations.
From January to October 2021, STIEBEL ELTRON increased sales compated 2020, with the majority of sales coming from modern trade (58%), followed by dealers (22%), B2B (11%), and eCommerce (9%).
“Customers think differently about how they spend money during the time of COVID-19 restrictions, as 24/7 access to eCommerce, time savings, and the ease of price comparison all becoming increasingly important. We are pleased to have overcome many challenges this year and look forward to a strong end to 2021. We will continue to develop and deliver solutions to assist Thais households by expanding our sales channels to reach more people throughout the regions, as well as developing new products that are sustainable and truly meet the needs of all target customers,” Roland concluded