Holiday hot products – tablets top the list and the Furby is back!

It is time for us to polish off our crystal ball and give our predictions straight from consumers’ fingertips for the hot products of the 2012 holiday season.

Gadgets will reign across many ages

Tablets including LeapPads, Tabeos, iPads, Kindles and others will continue to be a popular gift this year, with more choices than ever. On the list of top product-related search terms driving traffic to the Retail 500 category of sites, Kindle Fire HD and Windows 8 top the list as new products. Additionally, Meep!, a child friendly tablet appeared in the top fifteen. Accessories for both phones and tablets will also be popular, especially as the variety grows for iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. A reoccurring favorite gift for the holidays is UGGs which shows a decrease year over year. However, another brand with a similar product is Bearpaw, which is in the top ten searches and has seen big growth year over year.
Source: Experian Hitwise

Dolls, video games and Furbys, oh my!

To identify the popular toys for gifts this year, we researched product-related search terms driving traffic to ToysRUs.com compared to last year’s holiday season.  We uncovered trends in the doll category, Doc McStuffins as number one on the list, along with the classic Barbie, which saw a growth in searches year over year. The Furby is making a strong comeback at the number two spot with a reboot and new features. Another trend here is tablets, from branded searches like LeapPad and Kurio there is also the generic term ‘tablets for kids’. In the video game category, the new Wii U that is debuting just in time for Black Friday and should be a big gift this year, along with searches for PS3 games and the Nintendo 3ds xl are all in the top 20 searches.
Source: Experian Hitwise

Keywords of the consumer to identify demand

Beyond product names, it is important to understand the actual way people search, using key phrases and questions. Last year, for example, there was a lot of activity around ‘in-stock’ products, such as the LeapPad explorer, which was hugely popular and quickly sold out in many stores. Retailers and marketers should monitor this throughout the season and make sure to optimize for in stock if there is a popular product that they have available.
Source: Experian Hitwise

Consumers also focus on what is the ‘best’ – so we see search activity around ‘best place to buy’, particularly around electronics. Questions such as ‘where to buy a’ specific product are also common, such as ‘where to buy a kindle’. These phrases offer opportunities to boost search campaigns by considering how consumers phrase their questions to ensure to capture these searches.
Source: Experian Hitwise

Quick tip: In the retail category there will tend to be a lot of retail branded store terms but to keep up with holiday search behavior and help make analysis quick, create portfolios of branded terms to easily exclude those from a certain category. When you strip out all the variations of that term you are able to gain insight into product searches that are most popular to a certain site or category.

For more insight on the hot product trends for this year from our Hitwise trend-spotters, watch our webcast.