Electrical and electronic (EE) products are an integral part of many people’s lives. They are no longer an addition, rather they have become the means through which many of us interact with the world. This trend towards a more integrated lifestyle was already underway before the pandemic, but the need to communicate during lockdown certainly accelerated it. Many consumers, who had previously expressed an inability to use these technologies, suddenly adopted them out of necessity.1
At the same time, the market for EE products is also changing. A shift from ‘bricks and mortar’ stores towards e-commerce was already underway but it has, again, been accelerated by the pandemic. This has made it easier for new manufacturers and suppliers from around the world to enter the market, creating greater choice for consumers.
This online revolution has also empowered consumers, giving them access to more information about products and making them savvier shoppers. A Google/Ipsos study from 2019 found that 83% of US shoppers researched their products online before making a purchase. This was true even when they chose to buy the product from a ‘bricks and mortar’ store.2 Another study found that 89% of consumers now look at online reviews before making a purchase.3 It can be surmised, this movement away from the high street to the online retailer will only increase in the aftermath of the pandemic as so many shops will have closed.
The power of choice has shifted from the manufacturer to the consumer. The challenge for manufacturers is to find an effective way to differentiate their products in a complex and crowded marketplace. It is no longer sufficient to simply deliver safe, performant, and regulatorily compliant products. Consumers now want evidence that a product has been properly evaluated before they are willing to make a purchase. After all, it’s only trusted because it’s tested.
What is Performance?
At the forefront of a consumer’s mind when they consider buying a new product is, will it perform the task I need it to perform?
When a manufacturer considers performance, they need to understand this goes beyond simply delivering a high-quality product. If a consumer finds a product difficult to operate or cannot understand how to use it correctly, then it has failed for them. In a connected, online world, this will result in a poor online review that may negatively impact the decisions of future potential customers.
From the perspective of the customer, performance encompasses:
Manufacturers need to understand the requirements of the consumer and instigate an assessment program that matches those demands. To satisfy the consumer, this evaluation process must be:
- Robust – the methodology must have integrity and be developed with an understanding of what the consumer needs
- Independent – impartiality will allow them to make proper valued judgements
SGS Performance Marks help manufacturers to differentiate their EE products in the marketplace. They can be applied to a wide range of products, including household appliances, lighting products, consumer electronics, batteries, power tools, healthcare devices and wireless/RF products. The assessment criteria are robust and independent, meaning consumers know they can trust the products have been rigorously evaluated against a defined set of standards.
Manufacturers can choose between two test programs, depending on the product and the needs of the customer:
- SGS Premium Performance – covers either all aspects of a product according to the market or new features/designs
- SGS Performance Tested – covers selected tests and/or claim validations
Benefits for Consumers:
- Knowledge that a product has been independently assessed to a robust set of standards
- Access to evaluation data via a QR code
- Helps comparison shopping
SGS Performance Marks for EE products allow manufacturers to differentiate their products in a competitive marketplace. They increase transparency through the QR code, create competitive advantage, and ultimately reduce the gap with the consumer, thereby improving reputations and increasing trust in their brand. After all, it’s only trusted because it’s tested.
Learn more about SGS Performance Marks for EE Products.
Regional Director, Key Account Management
t: +852 2334 4481