The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has issued a report saying that technology spending during the Oct.-Dec. 2019 holiday season is projected to reach $97.1 billion in revenue in the U.S. – on par with last year’s actual spending. CTA’s 26th Annual Consumer Technology Holiday Purchase Patterns Study says 186 million U.S. adults (74 percent) plan to purchase a tech product as a gift this year, with streaming service subscriptions and video games emerging as popular tech gifts. Further, seven out of 10 U.S. adults (71 percent) plan to purchase a content-related gift this year, which includes videogame discs (43 percent) and streaming or downloaded entertainment services such as Netflix or Hulu (39 percent).
“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.”
The top five tech gifts consumers most want, according to the research, include a preponderance of screens – laptops, smartphones, tablets and TVs, with desktop PCs and digital cameras losing their positions among those top spots.
Emerging technologies are being regarded by buyers as more desirable in 2019 versus 2018, the research shows. In smart home devices, more than half (59 percent) of U.S. adults plan to purchase one from among categories such as smart doorbells, cameras or light bulbs as gifts. Smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, hold great appeal as well, with 38 percent of U.S. adults planning to purchase one this season.
In wearables, as new features emerge with enhanced health capabilities and mobile connectivity, 43 percent of U.S. adults plan to buy one (including smartwatches and fitness trackers) this holiday. Specifically, CTA expects over nine million smartwatches will sell this holiday season – a two percent increase over last year.
Wireless earbuds are also expected to be a popular holiday tech gift to give, with eight million units expected to sell – up 45 percent 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.
Overall, 87 percent of U.S. adult consumers plan to shop at brick-and-mortar stores for tech gifts this holiday season, and 80 percent plan to shop online – both up over last year. Of those shopping online, 65 percent plan to do so using a mobile device (e.g., smartphone or tablet) and 33 percent plan to shop using a voice-activated digital assistant.
CTA fielded the survey in September 2019 using an online sample of 2,009 U.S. adults 18 years of age and over.