Leanne Adamson, marketing manager for Abode, reveals why she thinks it's time to dig a little deeper into what consumers want from their bathrooms – and why ultimately the independent retailer will always win out.
"Why are bathrooms so important? For the consumer the answer to the question will probably be something of the lines of: 'It’s a space to escape to, to relax and unwind in and to inject my own personality in'.
"For manufacturers designing the products to fit into such spaces, and for the retailers who are selling them, it’s important to drill down into this a little. What do consumers really want and really need from the fixtures and fittings they supply? What will persuade them to make their purchase? In terms of bathroom brassware, which makes up a substantial part of this market, the answer definitely lies in keeping things simple. Consumers want cohesiveness, and being able to choose matching taps, valves and even wastes gives this to them very easily.
"Don’t forget the less visible elements of a sale too, such as quality and performance, which can’t always immediately be seen, and particularly not when purchasing online. Often, being able to physically touch and use a tap is what it takes to assure the consumer that they are investing wisely, and of course, displaying trusted brand names that have a reputation for such quality, confidently backing this up with lengthy warranties also helps hugely.
"Exclusivity and luxury are also extremely important to the consumer who is looking for something that little bit different for their bathroom. This is a personal space and very much an extension of our living environments today, and whether it’s a family bathroom, master en suite or downstairs cloakroom, consumers want the finished setting to be indulgent and far from the standard. While bathrooms are of course accessible on the internet and from DIY sheds, it is the independent retailer who has invested in brands that offer exclusive, premium designs who will ultimately win out.
"As we all spend more time at home these days, the yearning to create spa-inspired bathrooms and hotel levels of luxury in our own homes is strong. It is for all of these reasons that Abode continues to invest heavily in its bathroom offering, because the above variables are what we have always been proud to deliver.
"Unrivalled design, quality, and a service that customers can rely on are all elements that help to sell bathroom products. They were important when Abode was founded in 2002, they remained crucial during a global pandemic, and they will always help to nail that sale in the future.
"The spa-like levels of luxury that consumers have been craving since before the pandemic was even a thing, and then started to turn into a reality while ‘stuck at home’, will remain top of their wish-list in a post-pandemic world too, making it more important than ever for retailers to have a strong offering – and we are proud to be able to play our part in the journey ahead."