2017 Baker’s Dozen +1: Stephen Baker’s Annual Holiday Expectations

  • Industry revenue has turned the corner – 2017 will see the best holiday performance in years, as hot new categories and a stable market deliver positive revenue growth in consumer electronics.
  • Thanksgiving week is a marathon, not a sprint – Consumers are ready to buy all week long. Once again, promotions, products, and marketing all coalesce around a full week of events, not just Black Friday. 
  • Sell up, not down – Consumers are hungry to spend on products above entry-level. Better products, better features, and a better experience will beat out lowest price as characteristics for the ideal holiday gift.
  • TVs remain the uber holiday category – Accounting for over 20 percent of holiday revenue, it’s hard to deliver a successful holiday season without an aggressive promotional TV marketplace.
  • Much bigger, is much better – With the days of small screens behind us, bigger and bigger TVs (especially 55”+) continue to win consumer interest and dollars. 
  • Tablets resurface on holiday wish lists – Improved pricing, products, and segmentation will drive sales volumes of tweener size screens this holiday.
  • Smartphone sales stay the course – Flat is the new up.
  • Don’t forget accessories – Holiday is about the smartphone ecosystem, not just the device. Stable smartphone volumes lead to strong sales in high-traffic ecosystem products like cases, power, and audio.
  • Turn up the volume – Audio has re-emerged as a core device feature making up more than 10 percent of holiday sales.
  • Headphone sales are booming – New features, new use cases, and a penchant for cool and for quality, make headphones the fourth largest holiday revenue category.
  • Let the customer’s voice be heard – Voice-controlled speakers will explode as installed base and platform considerations offset revenue and profit requirements.
  • Keen on smart home sales – Smart home product sales will soar, but don’t let expectations get ahead of reality. With just 15 percent of U.S. internet households owning a smart home device, there’s a long runway of growth ahead. Smart Home appears on the cusp of becoming a very strong holiday category.
  • Snow day activities – PC gaming will be the hottest consumer segment in the PC and accessories market this holiday with volumes up in double digits.

Baker’s Bonus Prediction: Holiday shopping doesn’t end on December 25th, as the post-holiday opportunity is growing.


Related Press Releases

Unit Sales of Voice-Enabled Speakers in the U.S. Were Up 36 Percent Heading Into the Holiday Season
Unit Sales of Voice-Enabled Speakers in the U.S. Were Up 36 Percent Heading Into the Holiday Season

The NPD Group's new Streaming Audio Speaker Total Market Report reveals voice-enabled speaker sales in the U.S. were up 36 percent and 15 percent in unit and dollar sales, respectively, year over year.

2018 Baker’s Dozen +1: Stephen Baker’s Annual Holiday Expectations
2018 Baker’s Dozen +1: Stephen Baker’s Annual Holiday Expectations

Superior screens, advances in audio, and all things ‘smart’ will be hot this holiday. See more holiday consumer electronics predictions from NPD’s technology industry advisor, Stephen Baker.

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The role of the consumer device is evolving, as content that was once the domain of the computer continues to migrate to smartphones. In fact, 45 percent of smartphone users now report they shop online via their device.

Unlocked Smartphone Users Are Spending More and Upgrading Less
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According to NPD Connected Intelligence, the unlocked smartphone market is continuing to grow, as awareness levels reach an all-time high.


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Megan Scott
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megan.scott@npd.com

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