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Study: US holiday tech spending to reach $97.1bn 

October 29, 2019

Technology spending during the 2019 holiday season (October-December) is projected to reach $97.1 billion (€87.6bn) in revenue in the US – 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 US adults (74 per cent) 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 US adults (71 per cent) plan to purchase a content-related gift this year, which includes videogame discs (43 per cent) and streaming or download entertainment services such as Netflix or Hulu (39 per cent).

“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.

  1. Laptops
  2. Smartphones
  3. TVs
  4. Tablets
  5. Wearables

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 per cent) of US 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 per cent of US adults planning to purchase one this season. CTA expects a robust 11.3 million units to ship, a 42 per cent decline over last year as more devices such as TVs incorporate digital assistants.
  • Wearables: As new features emerge with enhanced health capabilities and mobile connectivity, 43 per cent of US 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 per cent 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 per cent increase over 2018. Further, of the US 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 per cent) of US adults planning to purchase a gift in this category. One-third (33 per cent) 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 per cent of US adult consumers plan to shop at brick-and-mortar [physical] stores for tech gifts this holiday season, and 80 per cent plan to shop online – both up over last year. Of those shopping online, 65 per cent plan to do so using a mobile device (e.g., smartphone or tablet) and 33 per cent plan to shop using a voice-activated digital assistant.


Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Markets, Research