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Product durability

WRAP research in the electricals sector shows that 80% of customers want longer guarantees on appliances. Consumers consider reliability, quality and expected life as the top three important product attributes.

In addition to customer loyalty and better relationships, greater reliability will reduce product returns due to failure, which currently cost UK retailers and brands up to £400 million every year with the true cost of handling returns being roughly double the "visible cost" of the value of product. However, approximately 80-95% of returns are not directly related to an actual fault (Accenture, 2011).  Therefore user guidance can play an important role in reducing returns and warranty claims.

Products can fail early due to a number of critical components in a product; and these are explored in detail on this website and in the guidance documents. Critical components are parts that can be specified and:

Most early faults and failures can be avoided by better user instruction, simple design changes and testing to meet minimum standards.

This website will help you implement improved performance and durability of key components, from basic improvements (including standards and compliance) to best practice.

Though some best practice actions may incur a cost, the overall benefit of reduced return rates is expected to outweigh these potential additions. In addition, many changes can be made at very low cost, cost neutral or a cost saving.

Electrical and Electronic Equipment Sustainability Action Plan (eSAP)

The Electrical and Electronic Equipment Sustainability Action Plan (eSAP) seeks to catalyse sector action, share evidence and bring together the many different stakeholders to deliver tangible economic and environmental benefits.  

eSAP, underpinned by WRAP research, focuses on consumer electronics and household appliances: televisions, laptop computers, vacuum cleaners, refrigeration products and washing machines. Better efficiency in these key product groups is likely to deliver the greatest savings. 

Action areas 

eSAP will take specific actions, by product category, across five themes:

For more information, visit www.wrap.org.uk/esap