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NPD identifies holiday tech trends


With technology products at the top of many wish lists this Christmas, The NPD Group’s top analyst covering the product category weighed in with a dozen expectations for the holiday season.

“The tech industry faces even more intense pricing and promotion than last year’s holiday shopping season,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “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.”

Some of the expectations highlighted by longtime NPD analyst Stephen Baker are obvious but others are less so. For example, Baker’s predictions include the following:

1. Aggressive Pricing - This will be the most aggressive holiday for pricing and promotion in years.

2. A Flat Landscape - Total revenues will likely be flat, at best, due to the promotional environment.

3. Spotlight on Black Friday - Black Friday week will be outstanding again this year, stealing sales from the rest of holiday season.

4. 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.

5. Tablets Continue to Wane - Tablet sales and pricing will continue to decline during holiday sales.

6. Low Prices Power Notebooks - Notebook sales will be strong this year, pricing will be the lowest in many years.

7. Fitness Simplicity Wins - Basic fitness bands will be hot; complex wearables will not.

8. Devices Now, Automation & 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.

9. 4k Goes 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.

10. Cell Phone Accessories Sizzle - Propelled by iPhone sales, cell phone accessories will be one of the hottest growth categories in Q4.

11. Bluetooth Speakers Excel - Bluetooth speakers will be the fastest growing large product category during holiday 2014.

12. 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.

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