Consumer tech spending is up and confidence in the U.S. economy is at its highest since 2012. With the holiday selling season around the corner, this could translate into considerable, added success at retail both for traditional consumer electronics product categories and new, emerging technologies. Here’s what I’m keeping an eye on for the 2014 holiday season.
Hot Category #1: Fitness and Health Trackers
Why it works: Many industry experts deemed 2014 the “Year of Wearable Technology,” and while this complex accessory category has certainly accelerated, it should pick up added speed during the holidays. With New Year’s resolutions around the corner, fitness tracking and health monitoring devices will make great gift items, especially products that are sub-$200. Prices continue to come down, and devices are increasingly more user-friendly, functional and fashionable, making them a win-win for the holidays.
How to maximize sales: Assort merchandise in a variety of colors and styles. For in-store merchandising, display items in a way that allows shoppers to touch, feel and experience them firsthand. Bring in complementary products that go beyond functionality to incorporate fashion – think accessory jewelry covers that enclose a wearable bracelet or a pendant to hold and camouflage the actual device hardware. Accessory clips provide another discreet alternative to wearing fitness or health trackers. These accessories make great add-ons for consumers who already have a device, or plan to buy one.
Hot Category #2: Headphones, Earbuds and Bluetooth Speakers
Why it works: This holiday season, wireless earbuds with Bluetooth capabilities will make an ultra-cool gift item. Bluetooth speakers in a variety of colors are also a strong bet – a cost-effective product ideal for revamping household audio capabilities or taking high-quality sound outdoors. With oversized headphones being released in new colors and styles, they’ll continue 2013’s trend as a hot gift item.