How can retailers add value to their kitchen designs with entry-level tap technology? The answer may well lie in the functionality, argues Clearwater’s procurement & technical manager, Daniel Boulton.
Taps have always been a functional purchase for the kitchen; after all it’s not much of a kitchen without one, right? Over the years though, even this most humble and essential of kitchen fixtures has evolved. From the vast range of styles and finishes now available, to advancements in technology, the kitchen tap offers consumers a wealth of choice and retailers new opportunities to trade up.
Take product lines such as instant hot water and filter water taps. These have been around for a while now, but with sales targeted predominantly at the top end of the market. As technology has evolved, so the price tag has dropped. But that doesn’t mean the opportunity to trade up and improve your profit margins has gone. In fact, taking stock of instant hot water and filtered water taps can help add real value to a kitchen’s design, giving the end user an on-trend tap solution that is big on function and on style.
To take advantage of the upsell, it’s important to understand what type of technology is on offer and how it can benefit the consumer. In the case of hot water and filtered water taps, much of their popularity is because they add a new level of convenience to the kitchen.
We hear from our customers time and again that once they’ve had a hot water tap fitted, they wondered how they ever did without it and that’s all down to the level of convenience this technology brings to the modern kitchen. No more waiting for the kettle to boil, which means clearer worktops and great tasting water literally on tap. In fact, it’s such a popular idea that we are now seeing more consumers installing secondary compact models, alongside their main tap or as part of a secondary sink set-up and even in their home office for an instant coffee fix when working or for making the perfect brew when entertaining. So, even more chances to increase those profit margins, per customer.
Sustainability and our impact on the environment are also having a big influence on tap sales, particularly in terms of filtered water taps, which reduce the need for single use plastic bottles. The news agenda on climate change and the rise in eco-cleaning products shows that there is a very real consumer desire to ease their plastic footprint. Energy efficient is important too of course, not least with the escalation in fuel bills we have seen of late. The Cold Start Valve on our Magus 3 Kettle tap saves energy by not firing up the boiler unnecessarily – a little change that can make a big difference to the consumer. These are issues that are always going to be important to the consumer and therefore always likely to present retailers with an opportunity to trade up from a standard kitchen tap to one that helps the environment and delivers great tasting water.
All of this while never compromising on style – in fact, Clearwater offers on trend finishes such as Brushed Brass, Brushed Nickel and Brushed Copper applied using a PVD coating process – the most robust and durable coating in the industry.
Technology never really stands still of course, and new opportunities continually present themselves throughout all levels of the market. Hands-free, sensor-controlled models, for example, take the convenience of instant hot and filtered water to the next level. The filtration of such technology down to the lower, more budget-conscious end of the market surely presents retailers with a solid opportunity to create high-end kitchen designs, where quality, function and style combine.