Christmas is just around the corner, with the holiday season always providing a fresh tide of exciting household products for families to enjoy. From innovative consumer electronics such as smart speakers and Ultra HD TVs through to trampolines and other old favourites, there are more products to choose from at Christmas than any other time of year. Let's take a look at some of the most exciting household products to hit the shelves this Christmas - so you can work out how you want to spend your hard-earned money.
Consumer electronics are always a big hit at Christmas, and 2017 is certainly no exception. Along with perennial favourites such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones, a number of home-based products are also likely to make a big splash this year. Google Home and Amazon Echo are already making headlines, with these smart speakers using voice activated commands to access third-party services and smart-home gadgets. For example, the Google assistant can do things like turn off your lights, check your laundry cycle, and control your home's sprinkler system among many other tricks.
Sales for smart speakers are predicted to explode over the next five years, with Gartner forecasting sales to rise from $US720 million this year to $US3.25 billion by 2021: “The market for virtual personal assistant speakers is expanding rapidly, with more vendors, device types, and use cases,” said Gartner research director Werner Goertz. The Google Home and Amazon Echo products look like two of the biggest hits this Christmas, with Apple delaying their HomePod solution until 2018. Philips Hue light bulbs and the August Smart Lock are two of many exciting products that are capable of working with smart speaker systems.
According to an analysis of search traffic by ProductReview.com.au, 4K Ultra HD TVs will be hot this year as a family present, with other popular consumer electronics including stick vacuums, coffee machines, Thermonix-style mixers, and wireless headphones. According to ProductReview spokesman Chris Perrine, “We typically get 4.5 million visitors a month, 93-94 per cent of whom are Australians. That gives us a lot of data about what consumers are looking for and in many ways the ability to predict what they are researching how to buy for the holiday season. We’ve seen a big increase in traffic for 4K TVs, and trampolines are always quite popular during the holiday season. We get half of our trampoline traffic in the months leading up to Christmas. One of the areas we’ve seen increased popularity is gift cards. We’re seeing people doing more research on gift cards, seeing if there are any returns, terms and conditions, sometimes people don’t have the best experience.”
Along with new products and product categories, there are also changes to how people are shopping and interacting with retailers in 2017. The recent arrival of Amazon is already having a huge impact on the retail landscape, with traditional businesses needing to learn lessons from the tech giants or face the consequences. According to Chris Perrine, two important shopping trends have emerged this holiday period: “The number one trend we’re seeing come through is consumers are increasingly using reviews in the buying journey, whether at the beginning, middle or end. Number two, the companies that have that direct relationship with the customer, e-commerce companies or anyone operating online or selling direct, they [are able to quickly] make changes based on feedback.”
Image source: Andrey_Popov