If you haven't heard about Google Glass, it's kind of a big deal. Slated for a Q4 2013 consumer release, the eye-mounted mobile-computing platform is causing quite a stir, and not just for the ethical questions it's raising about privacy or its promise to make it even easier for us to take and share pictures of our cats. If Glass catches on (and judging by the success of Android, Google's last big mobile venture, there's a good chance it will) it could reshape the way we use computers, just as smartphones and tablets did before it.
What does this have to do with the promotional products industry? A lot, actually. We just now figured out how to use the Netflix app on our iPads, and already the next camp-outside-the-Best-Buy device is on its way—if you don't keep up with the trends, your tech promotions could fall flatter than a Windows Vista joke at a Bill Gates meet-and-greet.
Want to take advantage of the huge demand for computer accessories but not sure where to start? Get plugged into the tech market with the four sales tips below.
1. Go Mobile
The Pew Internet & American Life Project's 2012 data shows that 58 percent of American adults still own desktop computers, making traditional computer accessories like mouse pads, wrist rests and keyboard brushes still viable as promotional items. But to focus on those products at the expense of the growing mobile market would be to limit your potential sales. "The market is strongly trending toward mobile connectivity. Recent research has shown that a quarter of U.S. laptop owners now own tablets, and half own smartphones," said Sandeep Mehta, president of 365 Wholesale, Deer Park, N.Y. "According to Pew Research, the rate of ownership of e-readers and tablets actually doubled just over the 2012 holiday season. 29 percent of adults now own one of these devices."
Mike Ablauf, category manager for New Kensington, Pennsylvania-based Leed's, recommended a broader approach to tech promotions, one that accounts for the steady uptick in mobile device ownership. "I would change what you think of as 'computer accessories' to include anything compatible with tablets or smartphones," he advised. "I would think of bags that fit these products, as well as pens with stylus tips, as solutions for these types of promotions and probably more relevant in today's tech environment."
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