CTA Predicts Tech Gifts to Dominate Holiday Season

The holidays will be more technical than ever, per CTA research
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ARLINGTON, VA.—According to a recent study by the Consumer Technology Association, more people will be in line to buy new technology gifts this holiday season. In the “23rd Annual Consumer Technology Holiday Purchase Pattern Study,” CTA identifies that roughly 68 percent of U.S. consumers (around 170 million people) plan to buy things like drones, virtual reality tech and wearables; this is a 6 percent increase over last year.

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CTA forecasts that spending on technology will increase 3.1 percent to an estimated $36.05 billion during this holiday season. In addition, more shopping is expected to take place online, with total online sales jumping 16.4 percent to $84.2 billion, while online shopping through mobile devices should grow near 45.2 percent to $20.1 billion. Physical locations may still be the primary place where customers purchase tech (74 per cent), but those numbers are on the decline by a reported three percentage points from 2015.

As far as what people are expected to buy, headphones remain the most popular gift at around 40 percent, in large part due to the move toward wireless audio devices. Other things high on the wish list, per CTA, include laptops, TVs, smartphones, tablets and videogames consoles.

However, a range of emerging technologies are also expected to be popular items. Wearables are among the most popular of emerging tech, with 27 percent of people planning to buy a wearable, whether it be a smart watch or fitness activity trackers. Other new techs that people are looking at include smart home devices (24 percent plan to buy), connected or digital toys (11 percent), VR headsets (10 percent), and drones (9 percent).

Another interesting note highlighted by CTA’s report is a reason why some people may choose to limit their holiday spending. Along with the usual reasons of not being able to afford certain gifts, increased cost of living, or a fixed income, the presidential election is delaying people’s holiday shopping as some (38 percent) wait for the results to determine how much they can plan to spend during the holidays.

To see CTA’s full report, click here.