CTA Pre-Holiday Research: Look for Tech Spending Uptick of 3.4% over 2017
The Consumer Technology Association’s research arm issued Part One of its tech sales predictions at a New York City pre-CES press event Nov. 8 that included the Black Friday period ranging from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday – crucial shopping days that anchor the 2018 holiday shopping season. The most salient projection among them was that 85 percent of those some 110 million shoppers will opt to invest their gift dollars in consumer tech categories including smartphones, TVs, portable Bluetooth speakers, video game consoles and laptops.
Ben Arnold, CTA’s senior director of innovation and trends, and Lesley Rohrbaugh, CTA director of research, outlined a sunny overall scenario for tech, which they said would account for an aggregate 3.4 percent uptick in holiday tech sales over the same period in 2017, and (for all of Q4 vs. the same period last year) an 11 percent increase in unit sales of 4K TV.
Other points of research cited:
- Both in-person (98 percent) and online shopping (93 percent) will be embraced this season as purchasing methods – and among online purchasers, 42.4 million shoppers say they plan to use a voice-enabled digital assistant.
- Around one in three respondents plan to pick up their online purchase in-store.
- 164 million adults plan to purchase tech gifts in this timeframe, spending an average of $464 (slightly lower, at 66 percent, than 2017’s 68 percent).
- The top five tech categories consumers plan to buy are smartphones and TVs (tied at #1); portable Bluetooth speakers; video game consoles and laptops (tied at #3); digital media streaming devices; and smartwatches. True wireless headphones, smart speakers, and smart home products in general are among the most sought-after emerging technologies, and in smart home, the researchers see a doubling in video doorbell demand.
- Most popular shopping times: Black Friday (37 percent), Cyber Monday (33 percent); and all of December (45 percent).
- About 31 percent of shoppers said they defer their big-ticket purchases till the Black Friday period.
- One in three respondents buy tech devices during this stretch for themselves.
The duo spent some time outlining estimated uptake of newer technologies such as 5G, and noting changes in some of those that are inching toward maturity, like AI-powered digital assistants. Arnold noted that “they are becoming more specialized” in function, and more compact, and he noted that more devices, in addition to including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, are expanding to accommodate Samsung’s Bixby and Microsoft’s Cortana functions.