Black Friday shopping is already in full swing and electronics are topping the list of most desirable and hottest deals for this season.
The Consumer Technology Association (formerly the Consumer Electronics Association) said in their pre-Black Friday research forecast that 91 million Americans expect to purchase tech or tech accessories during Black Friday Week, which they say encompasses the Monday before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.
So what’s hot this year? One popular non-tech item is likely to be Star Wars Legos Goldberg said.
“Obviously with the Star Wars movie posed to shatter box office records in mid-December it’s going to be a great year for Star Wars-themed items,” he said.
But tech still rules. The top three categories of desired tech are video game consoles, TVs and tablets.
Game consoles edged out tablets for the number one spot this year, said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and senior director of research at CTA.
“They are a popular gift item. As households flesh out their gift purchases, they’re naturally buying gifts most individuals want to receive. Anecdotally I hear it from children who want game consoles, but I also hear it from talk to people whose husbands want an Xbox One or PS 4. So it isn’t just the kids,” he said.
TVs are in the second-place spot, which is where it was last year, DuBravac said.
Jason “Retailgeek” Goldberg, senior vice president of commerce and content practice at Razorfish, said a lot of the more desirable features in TVs are now at lower price points.
“So it’s a great time to invest in that TV for the bedroom, or upgrade your main TV to a 4K model,” he said.
Ugam, a managed analytics company that helps retailers with pricing and assortment data, published a report predicting what will be the most popular electronics across the major retailers. Using that data Ugam predicts that the Samsung 48” 4K Ultra HD LED HDTV will be one of the three top sellers, along with the Bose Quiet Comfort 25 Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones and the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch laptop.
There are a few select deals around for the 4K TVs, said Benjamin K. Glaser, features editor at Deal News, but they will be in limited quantities. In their Black Friday deals, Walmart and Amazon are offering a TCL Roku 32” 720p Smart HDTV for $125, Glaser and Goldberg said. Target is selling the Element 55” 4K LED UHD Smart TV for $400, he said.
Amazon is offering a mobile app only deal for an unnamed 50″ LED HDTV for $150, they both said, which is one of the lowest prices out there.
The shaky economy isn’t going to affect how we spend money, according to SheSpeaks, an influencer marketing and media platform. While only 16 percent of the participants in their Fourth Annual Holiday Shopping Survey feel the economy is improving, more than half say it won’t affect the amount of money they spend on holiday shopping. Almost half say they will spend the same amount as last year.
Their survey showed that the number one day for shopping will be Cyber Monday, with 56% planning to shop this day and 2015 sales will be greater than the last four years. About 40% plan to split their shopping in half between online and offline.
Tablets lost the top spot in desired tech in CTA’s survey, DuBravac said, but they are still in the top three categories. Tablets are starting to reach a saturation point and the lifecycles are longer, now closer to four to four and one-half years, similar to laptops.
They expect that unit sales will be down 20% this year and revenues to be off 22% year-over-year, he said.
Goldberg said some of the best deals in this category are from Best Buy, which is going to have 7” Amazon Fire tablets for $35 and they are offering the new Surface Pro 3 for $400, “which is going to be a very popular deal,” he said.
It’s going to be a good season for Apple products, but as usual, the best deals aren’t at the Apple store, but at other retailers. The best deal on Apple products may come from Target, Glaser said. The deal he’s most excited about is Target’s $349 deal on the Apple Watch which comes with a $100 Target gift card.
“We were surprised to see it. We thought it was still too much a luxury item to be discounted. We were expecting maybe $15 off an Apple Watch. Getting that much store credit is pretty impressive. It’s the only discount we’ve seen,” he said.
It’s possible that the Apple Watch will likely sell half of its annual volume in the fourth quarter, DuBravac said, which is common for new products.
Target is also selling full-price iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus and offering a $250 gift card. Walmart has a similar deal on the two phones, but is offering a $100 bill credit and a $100 Walmart gift card instead. Target also has a subsidized iPhone 6S Plus for $250 when you sign up with Verizon, Sprint or ATT, and Glaser said that’s one of the better iPhone deals.
BONUS: The history of Black Friday and Cyber Monday
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