According to The Future of Tech report from global information company, The NPD Group, home automation products will add $1.8 billion of new consumer electronics sales through 2018. The Future of Tech report forecasts 74 percent growth in the home automation category from 2016 to 2018, driven by sales of security and monitoring products, as well as growth in power and sensors.
“Awareness and interest are starting to build significantly for smart home products, with Alexa and Google Home catalyzing growth,” stated Stephen Baker, vice president, industry analyst for The NPD Group. “Digital assistants will claim a major piece of the consumer market in 2018, and in doing so will drive adoption of compatible devices and solutions.”
Retailers can glom onto this awareness and interest by targeting tech lovers in advertising campaigns. The new AudienceSCAN survey found 11.4% of U.S. adults enjoy working with technology/gadgets.
According to the report, emerging categories, such as virtual & augmented reality and drones, will also be key contributors to new consumer electronics sales. Virtual reality is currently leading expansion of the VR/AR segment, with early use cases focused on making gaming, photos, and videos more immersive. NPD expects VR/AR sales in 2018 to be nearly four times higher than 2016 sales, while drone sales will double over the same time frame. Drone sales will be bolstered by the hobby category (priced above $200), for which there is a balance of strong demand and relatively high average sale prices.
Stores could feature their assortments of the latest and greatest VR products and drones in ads on social networks. The new AudienceSCAN study revealed 40% of Techies took action after seeing social ads in the past month.
Innovation in mainstream categories, such as headphones and PCs, will contribute to sales growth as well. Headphones are expected to see year-over-year growth through 2018, with in-ear wireless headphones leading the category.
Tech-forward advertisers might want to amp up search efforts. The new AudienceSCAN survey showed 44% of Techies took action based on sponsored search results (like on Google, Yahoo or Bing) in the past month.
“Multiple use cases and form factors are contributing to growth in headphones, as consumers may make multiple category purchases,” said Ben Arnold, executive director, industry analyst. “A midmarket in-ear set may be perfect for trips to the gym, but may fall short of audiophiles’ at-home ideal.”