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Tablets, ereaders most popular consumer electronics holiday gifts: survey

This holiday shopping season is shaping up  to be value-driven as consumers are seeking deals on consumer electronics, with ereaders/tablets and games two of the most popular overall consumer electronics gifting product categories, according to a Giftmeister survey.

To conduct the study, Iron Horse Interactive’s consumer electronics shopping service Giftmeister analyzed the shopping habits of more than 20,000 consumers using its service across all channels, including online, social and mobile. The report gained insights on a variety of issues regarding their consumer electronics shopping habits since Black Friday, ranging from the popularity of product categories and brand preferences to shopping differences among genders, as well as budget and spending decisions.

“The increase in smartphone adoption and the explosion of shopping apps for iPhone and Android devices are the key drivers of mobile commerce and shopping,” said Uzair Dada, CEO of Iron Horse Interactive, San Ramon, CA.

“Consumers now have the ability to find products, compare prices and order them via mobile devices very easily, which is a new and emerging trend this year and will continue to gain momentum going into 2011,” he said.

Giftmeister is a new free social shopping service created by multichannel marketing company Iron Horse Interactive that helps customers find, buy and gift consumer electronics. It has applications for Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android.

Some of the most notable findings from the Giftmeister Holiday Gifting Trend Report include:

Category and product trends: gaming gone wild
Gaming is the most popular consumer electronics category on Giftmeister, with 38 percent of users shopping for a gift in this category.

Below are the Top 5 gifting product categories on Giftmeister:

1. Video games and video game consoles (38 percent)

2. Smartphones (16 percent)

3. Cameras (12 percent)

4. MP3 players (10 percent)

5. Ereaders/tablets (4 percent)

While gaming is the most popular gifting category according to the Giftmeister Holiday Gifting Trend Report, eearders/tablets are dominating the buzz, with three of the Top 10 most popular products on Giftmeister.

Amazon’s Kindle is leading the way at No. 1 overall, followed by the Apple’s iPad at No. 2 and Barnes & Noble’s Nook at No. 7.

Spending habits
Frugality is in this year, according to Giftmeister.

So far, this holiday season has been defined by a value-driven consumer when it comes to electronics shopping.

Among Giftmeister users, the vast majority—61 percent—are budgeting $100 or less per gift for their consumer electronics shopping this holiday season, while 33 percent are budgeting between $100 and $500.

That opens up an opportunity for brands and retailers to use mobile coupons and mobile advertising promoting discount sales to influence holiday shopping behavior.

However, while the vast majority are spending under $100, there is a healthy percentage who plan to splurge on consumer electronics gifts this holiday season, with 6 percent of Giftmeister users shopping for gifts in the $500-plus range. 

Techno geeks and music lovers
Of the personas available on Giftmeister that characterize one’s consumer electronics interests, the most popular persona for which people are buying this holiday season is  “Techno Geek,” with 20 percent of users shopping for this type of person, who loves all things tech-related.

This is followed by “Music Lover” and “Game Nut” at 11 percent each.

Women take the lead when it comes to being identified by their gift givers  as a “Mover and Shaker,” which is characterized by someone who is interested in receiving gifts that help them stay organized and are available while on the go.

For users buying for males, the “Techno Geek” continued to reign supreme, with 22 percent of male consumer electronics gifts being geared toward this audience.

More and more consumers of all types are using their Web-enabled handsets to research and shop for products, with mobile purchasing on the rise.

“The outlook for mobile shopping in 2011 is very promising,” Mr. Dada said. “I think you will continue to see apps getting smarter and making shopping and price comparisons easier for consumers with smartphones.

“I think we will see mobile apps take advantage of location-based services and giving consumers information on deals and products available near them,” he said.

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily