Technology is no longer isolated to tech-heads and gadget nerds. There are a large range of products that integrate technology into your décor, going by the category name – fashtronics . These design-focused objects integrate technology for function – not for technology’s sake.
Fashtronics is a growing category in home décor. Examples of this fashtronics trend include digital radios that come in timber finishes as well as a wide variety of colors to work in with your home décor.
Here we explore some areas that might integrate into your current product mix. As a home and housewares retailer you can dabble in this giftable and home focused category.
Bluetooth Music Devices
Bluetooth has come a long way in sound clarity and is no longer isolated to cheap throwaway devices. This is your easiest foray into “light” digital as part of a homewares mix.
With music libraries now supported through iTunes, Spotify or just stored on a mobile or laptop, Bluetooth gives flexibility and the ability to stream music with the proper sound quality you expect from your music library. Laptop speakers simply don’t give your music the support it deserves.
There is a huge spectrum of Bluetooth audio devices available, and they generally fall into very specific price-points.
Low (under $50) – A lot available at cheap outlets. It may be best to avoid most of them at this price-point in the homewares market. Fun ones could be a good teenage gift option if you are lacking in that area – however, teens are growing more and more savvy, and you may find it won’t be up to what they expect from technology! Generally, if the sound quality is of any note, they won’t be re-chargeable for portable use.
Low-mid ($50–$100) – Simple, often portable and good sound quality. There are many design-led options that can set you apart form the audio hi-fi shops and technology department stores. Look for boutique brands that want a design-led and lifestyle retailer. Most will be rechargeable for portable use.
Mid-high ($100–$350) – Often combined with other features such as USB battery backup for your mobile, camera or other USB chargeable devices, or LED lights for evening outdoor use.
High ($350+) – Usually part of a more substantial audio device such as clock radio or digital radio. You get great sound quality. These devices are a décor object rather than just a Bluetooth device, often combined with quality materials and will feature leather details or aluminium or timber casings instead of plastic or silicone detailing.
There are a huge number of brands on the market to suit your target demographics price range and style. At top3 by design, my retail store, we focus on high-quality audio combined with design for our customers to integrate into their contemporary household or office environment.
The wonderful thing about Digital Radio is the simplicity of use and the enormous amount of stations available – including customers’ existing traditional stations streamed on their digital networks. Specialty stations cover hundreds of genres to suit any musical taste.
Headphones are fast becoming a required urban accessory. Like sunglasses or a handbag, they are often a statement of style and status. Look at your customer profile carefully to select your preferred range. Once again, avoid brands heavily represented in large chains if you want to maintain a healthy margin.
You can select by color palettes that merchandise with your existing range and provide teen gifting options you might not currently be able to provide to your regulars. They all have sons, daughters, nephews and nieces to buy for! Again, look at the price points to decide where your offering should sit. Headphones will fall into your urban-under-$250 collections right up to over $600, which you may wish to leave to audio specialists unless you are super confident about your demographic and your own capacity to train your staff on the benefits of your selection.
If you want to avoid the ACTUAL tech but still explore this growing fashtronic category, consider products that enhance the use of your customers’ tech. Cable organizers, storage boxes for power-boards, iPad holders for use in the kitchen while cooking…
You may even have products in your existing range that you can promote to accessorize with your customers’ technology. For example, breakfast trays, which can double for laptops, or shelving systems that can disguise or incorporate the necessary cables for modern devices.
To learn more about fashtronic products at top3 by design, visit www.top3.com.au.