According to the announcement of iRobot (IRBT.US), from 2014 to 2020, the global sweeper market has increased from 945 million US dollars to 3.394 billion US dollars, with a compound annual growth rate of 23.75%. Among them, China has become the world’s largest robot ” target=”_blank”>sweeping robot market, and the industry scale has risen from 4.4 billion yuan in 2017 to 10.1 billion yuan in 2021; the EMEA region dominated by Europe is the second largest market, In the past five years, the growth rate of the industry has remained above 20%.
Recently, GFK research data shows that Europe can be described as the core area for the application of sweeping robots-in 2021, the scale of sweeping robots in Germany will exceed 310 million US dollars; France and Italy will both be around 100 million US dollars; and the Spanish market will be more than 70 million US dollars. In addition, the Russian and Turkish markets also achieved nearly three-fold and two-fold growth, respectively, over the same period.
In the short term, there will be polarization in Europe. Low-priced and high-priced products will continue to expand their market share, while the market share of waist products will be compressed. At the same time, high-end sweeping opportunities that are applicable to various scenarios have become a relatively large point of competition.
In the first half of this year, the market share of sweeping robots with a price higher than US$599 in the German market reached 19.3%, of which products above US$999 accounted for 4.7%, while products in this range accounted for less than 1% last year.
In the first half of this year, the growth of the sweeper industry slowed down significantly. According to AVC data, in the first half of 2022, the retail sales of domestic sweeping robots will be 5.73 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 9%, and the retail volume will be 2.01 million units, a year-on-year decrease of 28.3%. From the perspective of online alone, in the first eight months of this year, the cumulative online sales of sweeping robots fell by 29.8% year-on-year, and sales rose slightly by 1.5% year-on-year. Aowei Cloud expects that the retail volume of sweeping robots will be 4.62 million units this year, a year-on-year decrease of 20.2%.
According to data from Aowei Cloud.com, in the first half of 2022, the overall online retail sales of domestic cleaning appliances were 11.605 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 1.16%. Among them, the average price of sweeping robots reached 3,135 yuan per unit, a year-on-year increase of 46.75%. Obviously, the number of sales of cleaning appliances in the first half of this year did not increase significantly. In 2021, the year when the performance of Cobos and Stone Technology soared, the omni-channel retail sales of domestic cleaning appliances were 29.8 million units, a year-on-year increase of only 2.6%, while the retail sales were 30.9 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth rate of 28.9%. It can be seen that the sales of sweeping robots in the past two years have not been booming. Obviously, the price band of sweeping robots has gradually moved up, which has obviously inhibited people’s willingness to consume, and is especially detrimental to the expansion of the sinking market.
According to the forecast data of Western Securities, by 2030, the penetration rate of sweeping robots in urban households will reach 45%, the penetration rate in rural households will reach 5%, and the overall penetration rate will be about 33%. Some institutions believe that sweeping robots can realize the transfer from optional to mandatory consumption attributes like washing machines, and the final penetration rate will reach more than 90%.
The other side of the low market penetration rate of sweeping robots is that the industry structure is still undecided and there are many entrants. According to the data from Tianyancha, since 2018, the annual growth rate of registration of sweeping robot-related companies in China has remained at around 40%, and the annual growth rate has exceeded 100 for three consecutive years.
At this stage, the sweeping robot market presents a competitive pattern of “two superpowers and multiple strengths”. Among them, the “two superpowers” are Covacs and Stone Technology, while the “multiple strengths” are Internet brands such as Yunjing, Zhuimi Technology, and Xiaomi, as well as Midea, Haier and other traditional home appliance brands.
Compared with countries such as Europe and the United States, the penetration rate of sweeping robots in China is relatively low. According to the research report of Zhongyan Puhua, the current household penetration rate of sweepers in China is still less than 5%, compared with 15% in the United States, and 8% in Germany and Japan. The domestic market still has a lot of room for market growth.
The vast market potential of sweeping robots has attracted home appliance manufacturers, Internet brands, and small and medium-sized independent brands to enter this track, and will also drive the rapid development of related industrial chain companies. In the second half of the sweeping robot track, the barriers to product competition built by R&D innovation and technical patents will undoubtedly become the key to winning the game in the market.
Cleaning robot technology is becoming more and more mature, which can meet diverse cleaning needs. With the iterative upgrade of technology, the functions of cleaning robots are gradually diversified, and the application scenarios are becoming more and more abundant. For example, commercial cleaning robots have been applied to many scenarios such as transportation hubs, office buildings, and parks. In terms of product categories, the product categories of cleaning robots are also increasingly diversified. In addition to commercial cleaning robots that focus on floor cleaning, there are also swimming pool cleaning robots that specialize in swimming pool cleaning and high-altitude cleaning robots that solve the problem of curtain wall cleaning.