While sales trends have improved for many fundamentals of the consumer electronics market this year, holiday sales are always uncertain, especially in the largest categories such as TVs, phones and tablets.
2016 is no different than years past, but with recent new product introductions and categories like drones set to takeoff, we expect improvement in results from the 2015 holiday season.
1. PC holiday revenues revived: Sales will be the best in at least four years, as average sales prices rise
2. iPad Pros deliver big: Expect revenue increases for Apple tablets, while Android consumer interest wanes
3. Smartphone sales soar: New iPhones will exceed market expectations and drive the best smartphone market in years
4. Cutting the (headphone) cord continues: Wireless headphones will be on many holiday shopping lists this year
5. Online sales will not falter: Online revenue will account for as much as 33 percent of consumer electronics holiday sales
6. Procrastinators rejoice: Latest sales holiday in years, as consumers will wait until the last minute to finish up shopping
7. Cyber week sales struggles: With retailers offering aggressive promotions in-store and online the week of Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday and the week that follows will see challenges to keep up with Thanksgiving retail volumes
8. No Black Friday surprises: Once again, TVs will dominate Black Friday (and, in fact, all of Thanksgiving Week)
9. Wearables wear thin: While prices for wearables may begin to decrease (especially in the fitness segment where competition is growing), expect a slight slowdown in sales as consumer interest fades
10. 4K TV, the bigger the better: 4K TVs, led by sales of screen sizes 55 inches and over, will account for six in every 10 holiday TV dollars spent
11. Drone sales take to the sky: Interest and revenue peak as the available market expands
12. VR is lukewarm: VR will elicit a tepid response from consumers
13. Electronics gain a voice of their own: Voice enabled device sales will grow, as voice becomes a more important attribute this holiday
Baker’s Bonus: Strong TV unit sales will continue throughout the holiday season — extending the surprising demand increases we have seen thus far in 2016
Stephen Baker is VP and industry analyst at The NPD Group.