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

  • Small Consumer Electronics Gains. Holiday consumer electronics sales are expected to see a three percent sales increase year over year. Expect Thanksgiving week and Cyber Monday week to once again deliver the largest gain.
  • Same As It Ever Was. Overall consumer electronics holiday performance is at the mercy of PC and TV sales performance. Over the past five years they have represented 37 percent of Q4 dollar sales in the U.S.
  • Premium Economy. We expect to continue to see trade-ups from entry-level to mid-tier and mid-tier to premium.
  • Cheap is Not Chic. Value and features will win out over price and utility. The best sellers will be good products.
  • Brains Over Beauty. Smart home, smart plugs, smart displays, smart speakers, smart TVs, smartwatches... smart sells this holiday.
  • Hear Me… and See Me. Smart displays will be the hot smart home device for holidays.
  • Let’s Play. Gaming impacts more than just PC and console sales. In Q4 2017, gaming PCs and accessories grew 34 percent with faster growth expected in 2018.
  • Superior Screens. Screen quality is the “it” feature this holiday, as screen quality drives more value, across more products, across more use cases than ever before.
  • A Not So Silent Night. Smart speakers, voice control, wireless headphones: audio is this year’s second “it” feature. Sight without sound no longer satisfies consumers.
  • The Big Picture. Screen sizes continue to expand in TVs, tablets, PC monitors, and smartphones. Expect 65 inch+ TVs to be the hottest segment in the TV market in 2018.
  • Bundle Up. Multi-pack SKUs and product bundles will help to drive the installed consumer base this holiday – adding value for the consumer, while raising the average ring.
  • Cutting All Cords.  Wireless charging, Wi-Fi direct, Bluetooth sound, wireless security, Mesh Wi-Fi… cords are a thing of the past.
  • Form & Function. Sleek and original design adds value to consumer purchases. The “Modern PC,” thinner TVs, and smartphones, speakers, headphones, and cases in all colors of the rainbow, are improving the value and personalization of consumer electronics.


Baker’s Bonus Prediction:

Room For All. No room in the home is immune to the expansion of technology. From the car to the kitchen, both inside and out, this holiday season will focus on growing the installed base of key consumer electronics devices. Increasing the installed base extends more technology to more people.

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