Industry Insights

All Aboard the Holiday Hype Train

holiday shopping

Ladies and gentlemen, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Well, that is, unless you’re looking to buy an NES Classic Edition or a Hatchimal.

Get Behind Me, Turkey and Dressing

As of this past Thursday, Thanksgiving in the United States has come and gone, which means that even those who wait until the last moments to start celebrating the holiday season can no longer avoid the madness. There are no more holidays separating us from our favorite end-of-year extravaganzas, which means we must now join Hobby Lobby (who probably started celebrating Christmas about six months ago) and pull out the ole tree and ornaments.

This past Friday (and Thursday eve), store doors were indeed being busted as consumers searched for the latest and greatest deals on all of 2016’s most popular gadgets and gizmos, and no doubt, today — Cyber Monday — website servers are receiving the same treatment. In fact, at this very moment, my grandmother is probably wondering why the shopping cart isn’t working on her most favorite retailer’s website.

According to a recent report from Nielsen, Black Friday fatigue is not setting in, with more than half of Americans (54%) seeking out the best deals on this consumer holiday, and with even more hopping online on Cyber Monday (63%) to try to save some holiday cash.

So, what are the products that are being most prominently featured on this year’s shelves (and servers)? Well, earthlings, I’m glad you asked.

Taking Stock of the Holiday Shopping Stock

According to Nielsen, apparel is once again reigning supreme in 2016 (as it did in 2015), with 61% of shoppers planning on purchasing clothing this holiday season. Apparel is closely followed by consumer electronics (56%), video games (43%) and toys (40%). The amount of video game purchases saw a rise of 4% year-to-year (potentially due to Nintendo’s touch of NES nostalgia and a new, cheap iteration of the XBOX One).

But, I must say, this 4% increase in video game sales doesn’t even get close to the biggest increase in category of the holiday season — pet gifts are up a startling 13% year-to-year (30% overall).

Sparky’s been a good dog this year.

Also covered in the Nielsen report is how consumers are hearing about Cyber Monday deals. Surprisingly, all media covered in the survey are down or are stagnant year-to-year — Cyber Monday deal sites, email, newspapers, retailer websites and friends/family — with the exception of one.

Social media. Forty-two percent of Americans planned on keeping tabs on Cyber Monday deals via social media, which is up 2% year-to-year.


Again, to see the article in its entirety, check out this Nielsen page. Take advantage of consumer trends this holiday season, and give the people what they want!

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