From year to year, the IFA Electricity Salon in Berlin is making one thing clear: Belgians like new technologies. They like them and once they try them, they become real fans. However, they often need time, sometimes even a lot of time, to take the leap. This is according to various national representatives from big companies in the electronics sector. They say the trend is positive.
“Connected houses for example are still a niche market”, says Tom Demets, a Belgian representative for Devolo. Devolo is a German business that specialises in “smart homes” and wireless internet. But the trend is on the up. He predicts it will take another two years, until 2019, to really take off.
This relatively slow take off is not necessarily explained by the price of new technologies. “Consumers have to know it can improve their everyday life, like the possibility of having high-performing WiFi throughout the whole house”, says Mr Demets. All the technologies also have to interact with each other”, he said.
“The Belgian consumer is very traditional in their buying habits”, says Frank Dendas. Mr Dendas is a representative for Philips Belgium who works in Berlin. “But they are ready to pay if what they are buying is good quality and benefits them, whereas our neighbours are more worried about the price. However, Belgians are slower to adapt than other Europeans”.
The Belgian divisions of Devolo and Philips say that once the average consumer begins to use products with these new technologies and like them, they become completely enamoured.