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Five Holiday Trends: What Every E-tailer Should Know

“It” Products—Giving Buyers What They Want Whether this is your first holiday selling online or your tenth, you need to understand the current market in order to take advantage of the upcoming shopping abandon that most of your buyers will experience this time of year. Trend-watcher Lisa Suttora, of http://WhatDoISell.com, shares five specific sales trends that retailers should be conscious of entering this holiday season: •iPod accessories. Just because you can’t afford to sell iPods is no reason not to cash in on this far-reaching trend. According to Suttora, “The iPod has infiltrated every aspect of our society and spawned an entire cottage industry of related products.” You can now sell iPod-compatible clothing, backpacks, and handbags, all with docking stations, as well as iPod mixing stations, protective cases known as “iGuys,” or even iPod shower encasements.

There are, literally, companies emerging every day that make these products, and they’re selling like crazy. •“New Luxury” products. America’s middle market consumers are rapidly developing an affinity for higher-quality products, and these “new luxury” items range from bathroom fixtures to kitchen appliances and from clothing to tools. These aren’t extremely high-priced products that only the affluent can afford, but they’re not basic, no-frills products either. Buyers aren’t looking to spend their money on bargain-basement products—they don’t want the cheap set of sheets; they want the high thread count, Egyptian cotton set.

Whatever line of products you carry, consider offering the higher-end models in that category. •Hot toys. High-tech toys are big sellers this season—dancing dolls, talking robots, remote-controlled toys that go from land to air and back again. Entertainment-related toys, such as Gwen Stefani dolls and Cheetah Girls dolls, are huge this year. My FurReal Pony, a life-size pet that responds to petting and “feeding” is enormously popular (and also a good example of the kind of “New Luxury” item that middle-Americans are gravitating toward). •Status skills. Everyone wants to be an expert on something, to be able to say “I did that” or “I made that.” But rather than trying to figure it out on their own, there are now kits and guides to teach users almost any skill set they’re looking to acquire. Would-be connoisseurs can get step-by-step instructions on whatever interest they choose to pursue, from wine-tasting to whiskey-making to building wooden clock gears. This trend lends itself well to holiday gifts—consider the market you cater to, and what sort of kit or How-To guide might be of interest to them.

•Personalization/Customization. People are buying products tailored to their own individual tastes. Everyone wants to be recognized for their skills, and seen for those things that make them special and unique. Whatever their area of expertise, be it golf or gourmet cooking, they want to buy products that reflect the things that sets them apart. The Christmas shopping season is well underway, and you need to pay attention to the emerging trends and accent your product lines accordingly. Says Suttora, “This is a huge season for eBiz owners. If you haven’t thought about incorporating some type of holiday seasonal merchandise into your product line, it’s really something to consider—tapping into the seasonal market can be very lucrative.


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