By AYOOLA OLAOLUWA
Consumer electronics maker, Hisense Co. Limited is increasingly becoming a household name in Nigeria, with its products winning more clientele as a result of strong branding, lower prices and localization strategies. Its acceptance is putting the top brands such as Samsung, LG and Panasonic on the back foot.
Before going global, the Qingdao, Shandong province-based company carried out extensive research, which revealed that Africa had great market potential with strong consumption capacity and brisk demand.
As early as 1993, Hisense started to explore the Nigerian market, after the company decided to take its business overseas. At first, the firm met headwinds entering the Nigerian market, which was dominated by famous brands from Japan, South Korea and Europe like Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba and others.
The company’s research found that there was a gap in the market for washing machines, 32-inch TVs, curve TVs, split air conditioners and refrigerators and the company seized the opportunity to tap the market from scratch.
Owing to the introduction of new market strategies like technology and pricing, Hisense has gained prominence and is currently threatening the hold of the big brands in the industry.
Business Hallmark findings show that the electronics market has contracted to three major players – Samsung, LG and Hisense, while other hitherto big brands like Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, and Toshiba, have faded in prominence or struggling to compete.
Checks revealed that apart from enticing consumers with lower prices, Hisense was able to gain a foothold in the market with its introduction of high-end electronics and electrical gadgets.
Also, rather than following the footsteps of other Chinese market players and becoming an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or exporter, Hisense worked on establishing its own brand, aiming to take an advantageous position in the market and sell products at a premium.
Products by the Chinese manufacturer range across flat screen televisions, refrigerators, deep freezers, mobile phones, air conditioners and washing machines, microwave ovens as well as other home appliances.
Checks across electronic shops in Lagos revealed that Hisense is locked in intense competition with manufacturers of flat screen televisions (LCD, LED, HD, OLED, 4K, 3D, UHD and Android) for consumers’ patronage to boost their market shares.
Though, CRT TVs are still largely in use, flat screen is the new ‘toy’ for a large population of Nigeria’s estimated 200 million people. According to the findings, while flat screen ownership is on the rise, so too is the market which is significantly impacting on the market value of the big brands.
Hisense televisions have slowly taken a big market share in Nigeria due mainly to fair pricing and quality products. Hisense has a wide range of flat screen television sizes. These range from 24 inches, up to 75 inches. In addition to that, you get features such as digital receiver, smart TV, 4K panels and voice control.
“As flat screens penetration deepens in Nigeria, affordable TVs will continue to be the major trend. This trend is not expected to change soon as flat screens with high quality features with low and affordable price will continue to be the focus in the Nigerian television market.
“The wide acceptance of the television products has made people to take a second look at other products manufactured by the company. I can confidently tell you that the success recorded in the television segment has positively impacted other products”, said Ibrahim Shoaib, HR Manager at Fouani Nigeria Ltd, the franchise holder of all Hisense brands in Nigeria.
“Nigeria, like a bridgehead, plays a massive role in Africa. Once gaining a market presence in Nigeria, it would be easy to tap the market potential in western, central and southern parts of Africa,” Shoaib added.
He also said that Hisence has seen a huge surge in sales in Nigeria and that more people are now buying its products, particularly the LED TVs and the premium front load washing machines.
An online survey done by BH to know the preferred brand among Nigerians also confirmed that Hisense has really gained ground, though still behind the two leaders, LG and Samsung.
While over 60% respondents say they use LG and Samsung, 21% confirmed they use Hisence, while the rest are spread between Sharp, Sony, Haeir Thermocool, Panasonic and others.
The survey also established that while LG is in the lead with over 37% control of the market, the rich and the middle class prefer Samsung. According to most Nigerians who use Hisense products, price and affordability were the determinant factors.
When BH visited the shelves of some electronic shops and super marts around Lagos, including Cash and Carry, Hubmart, Shoprite, Spar, among others, several electronic and electrical appliances were displayed to Nigerians to make their pick.
Prices of flat panel televisions depend on the screen size. The larger the screen sizes, the higher the cost of the TV. It was also observed that the screen resolution and available parts as well as features like 3D or smart capability contribute to the price. Prices of flat panel televisions also depend on the brand.
The manufacturers are competing for additional market share with the release of new flat screens, such as OLED TV and LED TVs, which are state of the art in television display technology and greatly economize room space.
Apart from introducing newer modern models, new features to ensure greater acceptability, including organic light emitting diode, OLED screen, facial recognition (Face ID), wireless-charging support and an upgraded dual camera are been added to older versions.
However, screen size is not the only determinant of pricing. Screen resolution and available ports as well as cool features like 3D or smart capability contribute to the price. Prices of flat panel televisions also depend on the brand.
For example brands like Hisense or Polystar offer cheaper prices for their TVs while LG and Samsung TVs are a bit costly, but with more support and quality.
In the same vein the cost of a flat panel TV depends on the screen technology; Plasma, LCD, OLED, or LED. OLED TVs are the most expensive followed by LED TVs and Plasma that is for TVs of the same screen size and features.
However, Plasma TVs were only available at larger screen sizes like from 40-inches. Prices of TVs also vary depending on series with newer series fitted with latest technologies costing more than older series.
The costs also vary depending on location. While prices are a bit on the high side on Lagos Island and Ikeja, they are between 15 and 20% lower elsewhere.
Hisense manufactures one of the best cooling systems for homes and offices. The company manufactures different types and they include: On /Off Split Unit AC; Inverter Split Unit AC and Window Unit AC
Like many other companies, Hisense also have the portable and dehumidifier Air Conditioners that suits consumers’ choice of need. Prices of Hisense Air Conditioners are within the range of N65, 000 – N200, 000 at any official authorized retailers stores.
Energy saving appliances
According to findings, the competition in the market become fiercer following the deployment of various types of technological inventions by the manufacturers designed to improve consumers’ daily lives.
The manufactures have unleashed new designs, pricing, after sales service, amongst other strategies to rule the market. Hisense, it was gathered, has also produced energy efficient appliances. The technology deployed by the Chinese firm is 20 percent more power efficient than those of its peers. These developments have heightened the battle for market share and leadership of the industry.
In order to get a hold on the market, Hisense deployed various products that suits consumers’ income bracket. Also, the firm depends on retailers and unit sellers to reach its market audience, without neglecting the concept of delivering the items to the distributors directly.
By retaining Fouani Limited, a Lebanese owned company in Nigeria as its distributor, Hisense scored a major victory against its competitors, it was gathered.
In 2018, Hisense designers added water dispensers in its refrigerator doors to better meet local consumers’ demand, improving its refrigerator products’ popularity.
Sony TV Prices
According to findings, prices of the same Sony products are between N25,000 and N135,000 For Sony Bravia 32-inch LED TV starts from ₦85,000 to ₦155,000
LG and Samsun ranges between N60,000 and N65,000.
Sony 40-inch LED TV goes for between ₦132,500 and ₦250,000;
49-inch LED TV – ₦339,000 to ₦450,000;
50-inch LED TV – ₦343,000 to ₦750,000;
55-inch LED TV – ₦385,000 to ₦1,250,000;
60-inch LED TV – ₦490,000 to ₦1,100,000;
65-inch LED TV – ₦740,000 – ₦1,100,000;
70-inch LED TV – ₦1,300,000 to ₦2,150,000
75-inch LED TV, which sells for ₦1,850,000.
Samsung TV (LED, LCD and Plasma)
In Lagos stores, a 20-inch Samsung LED TV goes for between N38,900 to N52,000;
24-inch LED TVs (Smart TVs) – N48,000 to N75,000;
32-inch LED TV – N60,000 to N200,000
Samsung 40-inch LED TV – N119,000 – N250,000;
Samsung 43-inch LED TV – N155,000 to N300,000;
Samsung 48-inch LED TV (Curved TV) – N315,000 – N395,000;
Samsung 49-inch LED TV – N187,000 – N500,000
Samsung 50-inch LED TV – N295,000 to N650,000.
Samsung 55-inch LED TV goes for between N360,000 -N700,000;
55-inch QLED TV (Curved TV) – N1,200,000;
65-inch LED TV – N590,000 to N3,000,000;
75-inch LED TV – N1,320,000 to N3,500,000;
78-inch LED TV (SUHD) – N3,700,000 to N4,500,000;
82-inch LED TV – N3,200,000 to N4,500,000
85-inch LED TV – N3,600,000 to N4,500,000
LG TV (LED, LCD and Plasma)
LG 20-inch LED TV sells for between ₦36,500 and ₦45,000 in Lagos
24-inch LED TV goes for between ₦42,500 to ₦55,000.
26-inch Monitor TV – ₦35,000 to ₦42,000;
32-inch LED TV (HD) – ₦59,500 to ₦65,000;
32-inch LED TV (Full HD) – ₦77,000 to ₦150,000;
43-inch LED TV (Full HD) – ₦110,000 – ₦200,000;
43-inch LED TV (4K UHD) – ₦190,000 to ₦290,000;
47-inch LED TV – ₦360,000 to ₦450,000;
49-inch LED TV (Full HD) – ₦155,000 – ₦250,000;
49-inch LED TV (4K UHD) – ₦225,000 to ₦350,000;
50-inch LED TV (4K UHD) – ₦195,000 – ₦300,000;
55-inch LED TV (Full HD) – ₦189,000 to ₦700,000;
55-inch LED TV (Full HD) – ₦255,000 to ₦1,100,000
55-inch OLED TV ₦420,000 – ₦1,900,000
60-inch LED TV (4K UHD) – ₦330,000 to ₦850,000;
65-inch LED TV (4K UHD) – ₦449,000 – ₦800,000;
77-inch OLED TV (4K UHD) – ₦6,990,000;
86-inch LED TV – ₦3,000,000 to ₦5,000,000
105-inch LED TV – ₦24,000,000 to ₦28,000,000
Sharp TV Prices
23-inch LED TV goes for between ₦42,000 and ₦75,000;
24-inch LED TV – ₦42,900 to ₦75,000;
32-inch LED TV – ₦54,000 to ₦150,000
39-inch LED TV – ₦86,000 to ₦115,000;
40-inch LED TV – ₦97,000 to ₦150,000;
50-inch LED TV – ₦175,000 to ₦250,000;
58-inch LED TV – ₦380,000 to ₦750,000;
65-inchTouchscreen Signage Monitor – ₦1,600,000
70-inch Touch-screen Signage Monitor – ₦2,400,000
24-inch Panasonic LED TV sells for between ₦20,000 and ₦75,000;
32-inch LED TV – ₦58,000 to ₦125,000;
43-inch LED TV – ₦120,000 to ₦270,000
49-inch LED TV – ₦196,000 to ₦750,000