IBM (NYSE: IBM) predicts Cyber Monday online sales will grow by more than 18 percent compared to 2014. Driven by a surge in mobile shopping, consumers indicate that Samsung, Sony and LG TVs as well as Apple Watch and Beats by Dre are at the top of their shopping lists, according to the IBM Watson Trend App.
IBM Watson Trend features the hottest 100 consumer electronics, toys and health and fitness products at any given time and is available for free download in the Apple App Store. For Cyber Monday IBM has identified the following popular products and the stories behind them:
- Nike Shoes: Watson discovered consumers are flocking to brands that offer “barefoot running” or “natural running” shoes marketed to help prevent injury. Watson found that Nike shoe owners in particular are talking about Nike’s Free, the Air Max and Flyknit Racing Shoes, which offer color, design and versatility as both athletic and casual footwear.
- Skylanders: Skylanders has helped drive the toys-to-life video game movement, where physical and virtual worlds merge. According to Watson, excitement around the latest version is less about new characters or vehicles, but the ability to play the game on multiple screens. Ironically, parents are also drawn to the game because many children choose to turn off the screen and play with Skylanders action figures.
- Star Wars Droids: Star Wars mania extends beyond Legos. Watson has identified growing excitement around the new R2-D2 Astromech Interactive Droid that walks, spins, and turns its head realistically. According to Watson, R2-D2 is being hailed by many as the perfect gift for Star Wars fans. Watson has also identified buzz around the pricier BB-8 that responds to human voice-commands and shows and records holographic videos.
- Hoverboard: Hoverboards bring consumers one step closer to the fictional product that debuted in the 1985 film Back to the Future. Watson finds that conversations around these single-wheeled self-balancing scooters are driven by high-profile celebrities like Wiz Khalifa and Usain Bolt. Called the Razor scooter of the 2010s, Watson finds that Hoverboards are popular amongst tech-lovers and boarders of all ages.
IBM has also identified the fastest trending products for Cyber Monday These are based on impact (size of the conversation) and momentum (the rate of growth of the conversation):
- Nintendo 3DS XL
- Brother Printers
- EPSON Printers
- JBL Speakers
- Motorola Moto X Cell Phone
In addition to popular products and trends, IBM also reports that the weekend leading up to Cyber Monday has set the stage for strong online sales today. IBM Watson Trend identified the following shopping insights from this past Saturday and Sunday:
- Online Sales on the Rise: Online sales for the weekend were up 25.5 percent over the same weekend in 2014.
- Consumers Cash in on Weekend Deals: The average order value for the mobile and desktop shopper combined for the weekend were $130.57, up 5.5 percent over 2014.
- Tablets Out Spend Desktops: Tablets average order value of $140.70 exceeded that of desktops, which ended the day at$138.30. Smartphone shoppers spent $111.29 per order, an increase of 6.1 percent over 2014.
- Smartphones Shoppers Dominate: Smartphones remained the shopper’s device of choice. Smartphones accounted for 44 percent of all online traffic, more than three times that of tablets at 14.1 percent. Smartphones surpassed tablets in sales, driving 18.6 percent of online sales (up 65.7 percent over 2014) versus tablets at 17.7 percent.
IBM Watson Trend leverages natural language and machine learning technologies to uncover consumer preferences, pinpoint patterns and trends and reveal why people are choosing certain products or brands. IBM Watson Trend also features predictive analytics that allow it to forecast if a particular trend is a fleeting fad or will continue to remain strong.