With Black Friday looming and the annual holiday shopping frenzy getting into full swing, we’ve crunched the numbers from Amazon to spot the developing trends in online purchases for October through Thanksgiving 2016.
Spending is generally up this season with holiday shopping off to a robust start in most categories. Here is a look at the season’s top sellers so far – and a few categories that are falling behind last year’s numbers.
Top 5 Product Categories with YoY Sales Growth
- Sales in the Wireless category are up by $40 million over last year to almost $90 million
- Toys are up YoY by $20+ million to more than $215 million
- Items in the Kitchen category are up by just under $20 million to close to $165 million
- Electronics are up in sales by $15 million to nearly $90 million
- The Luxury Beauty category is up by close to $10 million to $20+ million
Despite predictions that the increasing quality of photos taken by mobile devices would spell the end of the stand-alone camera industry, sales in the Camera category have also increased by $2 million over last year to more than $70 million.
Off to a slower start at the beginning of this holiday shopping season are products in these categories that are showing fewer sales than at this time last year.
Bottom 4 Product Categories with YoY Declines
- Sales of Books are down by $65 million year-over-year to roughly $230 million
- Home Entertainment is seeing a decline of more than $15 million to just under $50 million
- Shoes category sales are down almost $15 million from last year to around $170 million
- Video Game sales are down by a couple of million to about $90 million
Of course, those are the year-over-year trends in broad product categories, but within these groupings there are some stand-out products for sales on Amazon. Here’s what people are buying in droves as of October.
This Year’s Top Video Games
While sales in the overall video games category have declined slightly when compared to this same period last year, there are some noteworthy items that are showing robust sales. Leading the pack is the new virtual reality headset, the PlayStation VR Launch Bundle. PlayStation also holds the second spot with the 4 Pro. The top selling games are Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
The 5 Most Popular Toys
Sales of toys are up by over $20 million compared to this same period last year. Cozmo, the interactive robot leads the pack for early sales this season, but perennial favorites such as LEGO and Barbie are also showing a strong start. These are the most sought-after toys so far.
- Cozmo – around $3 million in sales so far
- LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar – $1+ million
- LEGO Friends Amusement Park Roller Coaster – nearly $1 million
- JOOLA Inside 15 Table Tennis Table with Net – just under $1 million
- Barbie Dreamhouse – more than $750K
And Hatchimals? The hatching egg toy that is hyped to be this year’s hot item comes in at number 6 on Amazon’s list of early top sellers. We will definitely be watching for sales to hatch on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Best Sellers in Home Entertainment
People are making fewer home entertainment purchases this year compared to last. However, the top sellers in this category indicate the demand for streaming the Internet through televisions remains strong. The Roku Streaming Stick leads in sales, followed by a couple of smart TVs, the Samsung 4K Ultra HD Smart LED, and the TCL 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart TV.
Top Selling Laptops
It’s not Apple or Microsoft dominating laptop sales this season. The top three sellers are the Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop, the HP Notebook 15.6-Inch, and the ASUS 15.6-Inch Full HD Gaming Laptop.
Additional Hot Items
October/November might not be peak camping season in many parts of the country, which could explain the top seller in the Outdoors category being the Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed. A seasonal peak in sales for the spare portable mattress coincides with the beginning of holiday travel season, where many people will be hosting out-of-town relatives.
Visiting relatives could also explain the surge in popularity of a host of floorcare products, such as the Hoover Carpet Basics Power Scrub Deluxe ($3+ million), the iRobot Roomba 650 (around $3 million), and the Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum (just under $2 million).
And once the floors are clean, and you’ve set up a spare bed, you’re going to have to feed your guests. The Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Press brand of pressure cooker is the top seller in the cooking appliances category.
While these numbers are strong early indicators of the 2016 holiday season’s most popular items, the real test will be what products dominate sales in each category through the Black Friday / Cyber Monday period. And as soon as we get that data we’ll be sharing it with you: keep an eye on our Twitter account (@oneclickretail) on both Black Friday (Nov. 25th) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 28th) because we’ll be tweeting live sales data about what promotions are happening on Amazon and what kind of discounts are being offered, as well as snapshots of what’s happening within product groups. Next week, we will also be publishing a comprehensive recap of this holiday shopping weekend on our blog.