Carl West believes tablet keyboard sales will be up in 2015

What will be the top-selling tech products this Christmas?

Not everyone is dreaming of a White Christmas – some strong sales of PCs ticking over into the New Year would be the perfect present for many retailers. GfK’s business group director Carl West predicts this year’s top sellers…

With Christmas just round the corner we are seeing more predications on the top selling products. 

Before discussing what those products may be, it is worth touching on the change in trends in the run up to Christmas Day. 

The durables market in 2014 has seen a recovery in many product categories compared to 2013, with consumer electronics, major and small appliances and office rebounding into value growth year-to-date. 

IT value overall has been pretty flat so far largely due to the shift to media tablets. With overall durables spend up £1.4 billion this year compared to last year, we are now on track for a much bigger Christmas.

Gifting is clearly a big focus in November and December, and with this there is normally a shift towards lower price point products compared to the rest of the year. Disposable income is focused on decoration, food and gifts. 

One thing that has been seen in our data over the last couple of years is the delayed spend, looking to deals and the extended period of online shopping. Delayed durables spend is usually due to the discounting that was seen late last year, plus Boxing Day offers, while the extended online purchasing running up to week 51 in 2013 is due to more efficient delivery and ‘buy and collect’ orders.

If we accept that major purchases have increased this year and consumers will be looking for Boxing Day deals, what can we expect with the run up to Christmas Day? 

Product areas that should be watched include headphones, wireless audio, juicers, coffee machines, sound bars, device cases and even some hair curler products. Wearables will be in growth this Christmas but this will be focused on sports trackers and some smartphone companion products. 2015 will be the year of the wearables.

If we then look at the IT product areas, we will see an upturn in tablets, which have shown decline this year, plus growth in networking, tablet keyboards, laptops and gaming peripherals. Looking deeper into sub segments of the main IT product areas, we will see greater volume of computing hybrid products, an increase in 8-inch tablets, growth in computing touch adoption, continued demand for wireless repeaters and powerline, plus, a gaming driven accessory market.

With the economy as it is, but with consumer confidence rallying to positive figures, tech spend in retail is facing real competition from the home improvement market. 

I would expect a bumper Christmas break, with gifting moving strongly into an upgrade demand for big price ticket items in the sales.

Hot tech for 2015:

– Tablet keyboards (up 90.7% in volume and 97.2% in value YTD 2014)

– Wireless repeaters (up 74% in volume and 62% in value YTD 2014)

–  Tablets (down 4% in volume and 15% in value YTD 2014)

– Laptops (down 1.2% in volume and 3.7% in value YTD 2014) 

– Networking and gaming peripherals

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