Consumer electronics shoppers in for the long haul this Christmas, eBay says

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Consumer electronics retailers should prepare for an elongated surge in sales this peak season with UK shoppers buying gadgets and games right up until the eleventh hour, according to figures from eBay.

eBay’s Christmas Tracker, which maps the “windows of influence” to help sellers plan for peak season, shows that some consumer electronics categories will experience peaks in sales as early as October, whilst the bulk of shopping will take place in November, running through until late December.

Last year, searches in the mobile phones and sound and vision categories ramped up from mid-October, but Brits were still buying cameras, computers and sound equipment right up until the week of Christmas itself.

And while Black Friday is a known trigger point in the consumer electronics sector, December saw shoppers enter full gifting mode last year, with searches for “MacBook” and “record player” rising 33% and 38% respectively over the second weekend of the month.

eBay’s data also offers insights into what the nation’s favourite consumer electronics gifts were last year. Games consoles make an annual appearance on Christmas lists and last year it was all about the PS4, which recorded more than 433,000 searches, making it the most popular item in the Video Games and Consoles category.

With interest in sports tech on the rise, the perfect sporting gadgets were also high up on last Christmas’s wish lists. In the Cameras & Photography category, GoPro was the most popular brand as gifters looked for refurbished models of the action camera, a trend that’s expected to continue this Christmas with the newly arrived refurbished models of the flagship Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session.

UK shoppers show a passion for retro, with “record player” and “turntable” making the top ten searched for items in the Sound & Vision category last December. And following last year’s frenzy for the Nintendo NES console, the soon to be relaunched Super Nintendo will be in high demand this Christmas.

eBay head of electronics business development Keith Metcalfe commented: “The final months of the year always tend to be the busiest for consumer electronics sellers, triggered in particular by Black Friday deals and the Christmas rush. But being able to drill into the consumer insights and know exactly when the peaks are coming across different sub-categories, and what shoppers are looking for, is critical for any seller.

“Consumer electronics is a vast – and hugely popular – category when it comes to Christmas shopping. And as our data shows, the windows of influence for retailers are long, and run right up until the Christmas week, with shoppers leaving stocking fillers and family entertainment until the last minute. Sellers need to pay close attention to these waves of consumer interest and ensure they plan campaigns accordingly, weighting inventory to have enough of the right stock in place at the right moments to avoid falling short at the crucial moment.”

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