Argos has unveiled a ‘Year in Tech’, in which the leading technology and electricals retailer analysed a year’s worth of sales statistics, customer behaviours, top selling products and trending searches to reveal the trends that have influenced UK shoppers’ tech buying behaviour.
Over the past year, Argos has seen a smart home revolution1 with sales of smart home products soaring by 161 per cent and 10 per cent of UK households now owning a home assistant1. The biggest rise in smart home gadget sales has been in smart speakers (up 151 per cent year-on-year) as customers adopt voice technology at home.
The data also revealed that smart home products are one of just two tech product sectors where men buy more than women. Women buy the most tech overall at Argos (53 per cent women vs. 47 per cent men) except when it comes to smart home tech (41 per cent women vs. 59 per cent men) and drones (45 per cent women vs. 55 per cent for men). Drone sales spiked in May of this year when new legislation was announced concerning their use and they became a hot topic in the news.
The Fortnite phenomenon also played a part in customers’ shopping habits, with sales of headsets, gaming chairs and controllers rocketing (by 65 per cent, 25 per cent and 20 per cent year-on-year respectively) over the last 12 months. According to the very latest data, it’s a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.
Nick Hill, Head of Entertainment and Electrical Accessories at Argos, said: “Based on previous gaming phenomena like Pokemon Go two years ago, we predict that Fortnite fever will peak this Christmas as more of our customers spend their free time immersing themselves in the game.”
The XBox One X, which hit shelves back in November 2017, continues to be popular as it offers a true 4K gaming experience across a wide range of best-selling titles. This seems to have in part influenced the UK’s trend of embracing 4K TVs, with Argos now selling around 1.5 times more 4K TVs than HD models (by value) and 4K TV sales up 43 per cent year-on-year.
It’s not just 4K proving popular though, as sales of jumbo TVs (with screens of 65” or more) have leapt by 318 per cent over the past year, driven by the impact of the ‘Netflix effect’. In fact, the best-selling size range for TVs at Argos has grown from 44”–50” to 51”–59” as customers seek bigger screens with better picture quality.
Experts at Argos, which is part of the Sainsbury’s Group, attribute the increase to the ’Netflix effect’, with the streaming giant providing more and more 4K content, creating a greater demand for bigger TV screens that show content in a cinematic way.
Interestingly, it’s gen X and not millennials who buy the most tech. The data showed that gen X (45-54-year olds) buys the most tech of everyone (23 per cent), closely followed by baby boomers (over 55s) and midults (35-44-year olds at 22 per cent) with millennials spending the least on tech (14 per cent for 18–24-year-olds and 19 per cent for 25-34-year olds).
Jon Wiltshire, Tech and Electricals Trading Director at Argos, said: “This past year has seen Brits embracing tech in a way they never have before, whether it’s smart speakers to help out with household tasks or bespoke gaming and TV set-ups to customise the home entertainment experience. Tech continues to find new audiences as people lose the ‘fear factor’ and realise how the raft of incredible products now available enhance their everyday lives.”
A ‘Year in Tech’
Argos’s ‘A Year in Tech’ reveals how the nation has shopped for tech between July 2017 and July 2018. From the explosion in demand for smart speakers and drones, to the drop-in popularity of tablets and e-readers, ‘A Year in Tech’ reveals what’s hot and what’s not in the world of technology.