Headphones sales are hot once again, providing retailers with strong growth this holiday season.
According to The NPD Group, sales during the week of Cyber Monday were up 55 percent vs. the prior-year period.
And it’s been a good year overall: Year to date (through the week of Nov. 26), U.S. headphone dollar sales were up 23 percent vs. a year ago, while average prices increased 17 percent over the same period, said the market research firm.
Bluetooth headphones account for 67 percent of dollar sales, and 41 percent of Bluetooth headphone unit sales are priced above $100, noted NPD.
“Fresh audio offerings from market leaders like Beats, Bose and Sony continue to pique consumer interest and drive sales in the category,” said Ben Arnold, NPD executive director, industry analyst. “Headphone features are also continuing to expand, as manufacturers look to include technologies such as heart-rate tracking, selective noise canceling and voice commands, which create new use cases and purchase motivations for consumers.”
Headphone buyers were the most likely group to have return purchasers buying in the category during both the 2015 and 2016 holiday season, according to analysis from Checkout, a receipt mining service. Thirteen percent of online headphone buyers made purchases in the category in 2015 and again in 2016.
Consumers are also more willing to open their wallets a bit wider during the holiday season for headphones, spending $104 on average during the holidays vs. $84 during the rest of the year.
“As we have seen in recent years, we expect this holiday season will produce strong results for the headphone category,” noted Arnold. “Looking ahead to 2018, the lineup of cool new features taking headphones from simple listening devices to connected technology products will continue to provide growth and drive demand for new offerings.”