Halloween jack-o-lanterns may still be haunting America’s front doors, but the holiday season is about to shift into high gear. As such, Hitwise is making our list of hot holiday products and checking it twice! As of today, we will begin weekly reporting of the top branded products and toys that Americans are searching for online and pointing out any trends we’re seeing in the data so make sure to watch this space from here until the end of the year.
Popular Products Moving Into November
As of the week ending October 29, America’s top hot branded product search was “Fitbit.” Of course, that’s no surprise. Fitbit sat comfortably atop our hot product list every week of the 2015 holiday season.
This year, however, the fitness tracker may have some competition from “Hatchimals,” our second ranked hot product. The plush electronic toy that somewhat resembles a Furby “hatches” from an egg after a bit of encouragement and interactive play. It’s kind of ingenious if you ask me; and if you have a kid or are shopping for one, consider this your notice to snatch one up before they’re out of stock. While overall searches mentioning “Fitbit” remain 2.4 times greater than those mentioning “Hatchimals,” it’s worth noting that in the past four weeks, Hatchimal-related searches have increased more than 11 times.
Top Electronics Searches
Electronics items in general are well represented on our list of hot products and include PlayStation VR, Bose and three variations of the Microsoft Surface computer. The Surface is likely to do well this season, but the unveiling of the new Surface Studio at a Microsoft event the week of the observation period almost certainly boosted these terms into the top 10. In the coming weeks, it’s important to monitor the rate at which these products cool off between now and Christmas.
Other trends we’re observing in the larger data set of all product searches include a rise in searches for Virtual Reality, or VR, products. With Google, Microsoft, Sony, HTC, Oculus, Samsung and more making big plays in this space since last year, expect VR products to be hot. They may even start to expand beyond the gamer set. The VR trend will give a needed boost to the gaming space since Xbox and PlayStation gaming consoles received only minor upgrades this year that are unlikely to generate enough excitement to earn them a spot in the top 10, where they’ve enjoyed reserved seating the past few years. Already, searches for Xbox and PS4 are down this year versus last.
Wireless speakers and headphones have been growing product categories in recent years. And with the pending release of the Google Home speaker—Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo—and Apple’s now delayed “magical” Air Pods, this category is likely to maintain momentum heading in to the holiday season. The pending arrival of these new products may have many consumers taking a wait-and-see approach. In fact, as of now, searches for Amazon’s Echo and Beats speakers and headphones are down versus last year, and Bose searches, despite earning a spot in the top 10, are flat year-over-year.
To find out what your customers are searching for this holiday season (and beyond), reach out to us for a demo of Hitwise’s AudienceView