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IBM’s Watson Predicts the Top Products and Trends for Black Friday

Strong Thanksgiving Day Online Sales to Drive Double-Digit Growth Today


IBM (NYSE: IBM) predicts online sales will grow by more than 14.5 percent over 2014. Led by mobile shopping, consumers indicate the Apple Watch, Samsung, Sony and LG TVs, Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and more are at the top of their shopping lists, according to the IBM Watson Trend App.

Available for free download in the Apple App Store, IBM Watson Trend features the hottest 100 consumer electronics, toys and health and fitness products at any given time.

For Black Friday IBM has identified additional popular products and the stories behind them:

  • Beats by Dre: Beats headphones, earbuds, and speakers have been wildly popular since first appearing in 2008. Watson finds growing chatter around the Beats Solo2 Wired On-Ear headphones as well as the release of Dr. Dre’s unheard tracks on Apple’s Beats 1 streaming music channel. Additional trending headphones include Sennheiser, Bose, Skullcandy and Sure.

  • Jordan Shoes: Known best for its original Air Jordan line of basketball sneakers, Jordan Brand has released a new line of performance running shoes. Watson finds that the line is being lauded for both their aesthetics and foot support and is gaining popularity among consumers who sported the original sneakers in the 1990s.

  • Nintendo Super Smash Bros: Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros for Wii U is generating significant buzz and Watson knows why. While the game features popular Nintendo characters such as Mario, Donkey Kong and Pokémon, it’s the “unprecedented” addition of Final Fantasy’s Cloud Strife that has gamers buzzing with excitement.

  • MeccaNoid Personal Robots: Personal robots including those from Star Wars are popular this year but many parents are also looking to more “edutainment” focused gifts. Watson reports that many parents are looking at MeccaNoid, which teaches kids from ages 8 to 12 how to create, learn and code so they can ultimately build their own robot.

IBM has also identified the fastest trending products. These are based on the impact (size of the conversation) and the momentum (the rate of growth of the conversation):

  • Toshiba Satellite Laptops
  • Disney Princess Legos
  • NordicTrack Treadmills
  • Klipsch Speakers
  • Asus Zenbook Laptop

IBM Watson Trend not only reports on what products are popular and why but how consumers are shopping.  According to IBM, mobile led the way for early-Black Friday shoppers who are spending more money on gifts this year than in 2014. IBM Watson Trend identified the following Thanksgiving Day shopping insights:

  • Consumer Spending Remains Strong: Online sales for Thanksgiving were up 26 percent over the same day in 2014, with consumers spending $123.45 per order.

  • Mobile Shopping Sets New Records: Mobile traffic reached nearly 60 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 14.8 percent over 2014. Mobile sales also grew, with 40 percent of all online sales coming from mobile devices, an increase of 23.8 percent over Thanksgiving Day 2014.

  • Smartphone Shoppers Dominate: Smartphones were the Thanksgiving shopper’s device of choice, accounting for 46.7 percent of all online traffic versus tablets at 13.7 percent.  Smartphones also surpassed tablets in sales, driving 23.9 percent of online sales versus tablets at 16.1 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.

To learn more about IBM Watson Trend and to download the app please click here. For a real-time look at how consumers are shopping across the desktop, tablets and smartphones please click here.

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