The end of Halloween has become the new starting point for the holiday selling season. With Oct. 31 just days away, Stephen Baker, industry analysis VP for the NPD Group, has compiled a “Baker’s Dozen” of 13 expected holiday highlights.
“The tech industry faces even more intense pricing and promotion than last year’s holiday shopping season,” Baker observed. “The challenge of surpassing the impressive start to last year’s holiday season will be addressed head-on by the market’s emphasis on competitive offerings.”
With that in mind, look for:
- AggressivePricing : This will be the most aggressive holiday for pricing and promotion in years.
- A Flat Landscape : Total revenues will likely be flat, at best, due to the promotional environment.
- A Spotlight on Black Friday: Black Friday week will be outstanding again this year, stealing sales from the rest of holiday season.
- OPP Success: Opening price point items will be more successful than ever this year, as retailers and brands try to grow volumes and market share in the face of more optimistic holiday demand.
- Tablets Continuing to Wane: Tablet sales and pricing will continue to decline during holiday sales.
- Lower Prices Powering Notebooks: Notebook sales will be strong this year, pricing will be the lowest in many years.
- Fitness Simplicity Winning: Basic fitness bands will be hot; complex wearables will not.
- Devices Now, Automation and Integration Later: 2014 is the year holiday growth begins consumer interest in home automation. They’ll buy some items for the basic automation benefits, but the concept of a truly integrated home is not yet a reality for the consumer.
- 4K Going Above and Beyond: 4k TVs will exceed everyone’s expectations for sales results.
- An iPhone Spark: iPhones will lead growth in what will be an exploding smartphone segment.
- Cell Phone Accessories Sizzling: Propelled by iPhone sales, cell phone accessories will be one of the hottest growth categories in Q4.
- Bluetooth Speakers Exceling: Bluetooth speakers will be the fastest growing large product category during holiday 2014.
- Drawn-Out Price Wars: Intense price competition will extend beyond the holiday and into the new year - it will be the industry issue for 2015.