Technology spending during the 2019 holiday season (October-December) is projected to reach $97.1 billion in revenue in the U.S. – on par with last year’s actual spending – according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®. CTA’s 26th Annual Consumer Technology Holiday Purchase Patterns Study says 186 million U.S. adults (74%) plan to purchase a tech product as a gift this year – with streaming service subscriptions and video games emerging as popular tech gifts.
Seven-in-ten U.S. adults (71%) plan to purchase a content-related gift this year, which includes videogame discs (43%) and streaming or download entertainment services such as Netflix or Hulu (39%).
“We are in the golden age of content as more people consume more content across more devices,” said Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of market research, CTA. “New video streaming services, more 4K Ultra HD content and larger screens on TVs and smartphones are putting entertainment on gift lists this holiday. Screens like laptops, smartphones and TVs will top wish lists and we’ll see a rise in emerging tech categories like smart home devices and wearables too.”
Top Five Tech Gifts Consumers Most Want to Get
The ‘Three Screens’ continue to top consumer wish lists this year, with desktops and digital cameras falling off the top five list.
More People Plan to Buy Emerging Tech
This season, more consumers plan to buy emerging tech as gifts for others, as well as themselves.
Smart Home Devices: More than half (59%) of U.S. adults plan to purchase a smart home product such as a smart doorbell, camera or lightbulb as a gift. Smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, top the category with 38% of U.S. adults planning to purchase one this season. CTA expects a robust 11.3 million units to ship, a 42% decline over last year as more devices like TVs incorporate digital assistants.
Wearables: As new features emerge with enhanced health capabilities and mobile connectivity, 43% of U.S. adults plan to buy a wearable (including smartwatches and fitness trackers) this holiday. Specifically, CTA expects over nine million smartwatches will sell this holiday season – a 2% increase over last year.
Wireless Earbuds: Wireless earbuds will be a popular holiday tech gift to give with eight million units expected to sell – a 45% increase over 2018. Further, of the U.S. adults planning to purchase a gift within the overall headphone category, most say they’ll buy wireless earbuds this season.
Another popular gift this year will be videogame products, with half (50%) of U.S. adults planning to purchase a gift in this category. One-third (33%) plan to buy a videogame console such as an Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro and accessories such as steering wheels or joysticks.
Brick-and-Mortar is the Top Channel for Tech Shopping
Overall, 87% of U.S. adult consumers plan to shop at brick-and-mortar stores for tech gifts this holiday season, and 80% plan to shop online – both up over last year. Of those shopping online, 65% plan to do so using a mobile device (e.g., smartphone or tablet) and 33% plan to shop using a voice-activated digital assistant.
CTA Holiday Research
To keep up to date with all of CTA’s holiday and Black Friday research throughout the season, visit CTA.tech/holiday, where the report is available at no cost for CTA members.
CTA’s 26th Annual Consumer Technology Holiday Purchase Patterns Study was designed and formulated by CTA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer technology industry. CTA fielded the survey in September 2019 using an online sample of 2,009 U.S. adults (18+). Please note previous versions may have used different methodologies.
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