International Housewares Association (IHA) interviewed Erika Sirimanne of Euromonitor’s Singapore office to learn about her presentation that will address global shopping behaviors at the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show. At the Show, the Innovation Theater will feature 21 presentations over four days. Topics discussed will include smart home, consumer shopping preferences, branding and global market trends.
Path to Purchase Around the World: How Consumers Shop for Housewares
Erika Sirimanne, Head of Home and Garden Research, Euromonitor International
Sunday, March at 11:30 a.m.
Innovation Theater, Lakeside Center, Room E350
IHA: What is the most exciting or rewarding part of your work? What fuels your inspiration?
Erika: Uncovering new trends, drivers and insights related to the home and garden industry across different geographies, while being able to talk to industry players to understand how they are adapting to such trends and drivers in order to create growth opportunities.
IHA: Can you name a pivotal event or project that impacted your career or company?
Erika: Early in my career I focused my research efforts on the retailing (store-based and online) industry in Australia and New Zealand, including home improvement and homewares retailers, and that is where my interest in the home and garden space began. Both Australia and New Zealand have an intrinsic Do-It-Yourself culture. However, being based in Singapore I have had the opportunity to observe the different cultural characteristics in Asia which ultimately shape consumer behaviour, particularly in the housewares space.
IHA: In the past few years, what has changed most in your business? How has your company met these challenges in the way you do your work?
Erika: Digitalization represents just one trend that has rapidly altered consumer behavior and the environment in which our clients, retailers and manufacturers, operate. As such, Euromonitor recognizes the importance of staying ahead of major trends and providing industry players with relevant and timely insights. Our recent Euromonitor: Megatrends initiative demonstrates this, offering analysis on how the most influential megatrends (e.g. “shopping reinvented,” “connected consumers” and “experience more”) are set to shape the world through 2030 to help businesses lead change in their own industries.
IHA: Why did you choose to speak at the International Home + Housewares Show?
Erika: I am excited about the opportunity to meet, talk to and hear from key global players in the home and housewares industry, and as a speaker I am looking forward to sharing some key insights from the home and tech space.
IHA: Tell us what you will be speaking about and how and this topic is important for Show audiences.
Erika: I will discuss hyperconnectivity, urbanization and omnichannel retailing as key drivers transforming the way consumers shop for their housewares products. I’ll also speak about actionable strategies and best-in-class examples for how both brands and retailers can adapt to the digital revolution and cater to the ever-growing consumer demand for smarter, faster and better. I will take a look at which markets are likely to be leading global housewares growth over the next five years and what products consumers will be buying. I’ll offer insights into the fascinating differences between consumers across regions and demographics.
IHA: What are you looking forward to most from speaking at the Innovation Theater?
Erika: I am enthusiastic about providing enlightening consumer and industry insight that retailers and manufacturers alike can use in making real-world decisions to evaluate and uncover opportunities in their own businesses.
IHA: What do you see as consumers’ biggest concerns regarding housewares products or how to shop for them?
Erika: Consumers’ biggest concerns really depend on geographic location and the associated macroeconomic environment, socio-economic demographics and cultural context. For example, in the Asia Pacific region, rising incomes may be resulting in “premiumization” in developing markets, however, internet accessibility issues hamper online sales penetration. On the other hand, urbanization and the growing prevalence of single-person households mean that consumers in North America are on the hunt for space-saving housewares solutions.
IHA: What are some of today’s trends or issues that new product development professionals and/or retailers face in the housewares market?
Erika: The smart/connected home (e.g. connected appliances and smart lighting etc.), as well as the use of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality all represent major trends that retailers can be expected to face in the housewares market in the very near future.
Euromonitor International is the world’s leading independent provider of strategic market research. The company creates data and analysis on thousands of products and services around the world. With offices across the globe, analysts in more than 100 countries generate market research on every key trend and driver. Euromonitor offers clients powerful access to the real story behind consumer change and identifies opportunities for emerging countries or developed economies.
Erika Sirimanne, the global head of home and garden research, is based in Euromonitor’s Singapore office. She earned a master’s degree in political economy from Sydney University. She has been with Euromonitor since 2011, after working previously in research covering Australia and New Zealand. Professional interests include understanding key drivers and consumer behavior within the home and garden space, touching upon the housewares, home furnishings, home improvement and gardening sectors.