Holiday Tech Spending to Rise 2.3% in 2015: CTA
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), formerly known as CEA, issued its yearly holiday sales data this week that Shawn DuBravac, the group’s chief economist, said showed tech holiday spending at a “steady state.” Projections were for a 2.3 percent uptick from 2014’s spending, which was up 2.5 percent from the previous year.
Some highlights from the presentation, made during the CES Unveiled event in New York City Tuesday, were as follows:
- Eighty-eight percent of consumers will spend money on all manner of holiday gifts this year; 74 percent say those gifts (excluding accessories) will likely be of CE products.
- The “big five” tech categories that will benefit from tech spending are smartphones, tablets, 4K Ultra HD TV, laptops and desktops, which will account for about half of all tech spending this year.
- There is less interest overtly expressed in TV buying by consumers for this holiday, but DuBravac predicted that the sales results will prove that wrong; he said consumers will not be able to resist “tremendous deals.” Of those planning to buy a TV, nearly 60 percent are planning a 4K Ultra TV purchase; 35 percent plan on buying a “jumbo” screen (60 inches or over) and 78 percent say the TV they buy will be “connected.”
- 4K Ultra HD TVs have already surpassed the four-million-unit mark in units shipped, eclipsing CTA’s July forecast of 4.4 million units to be sold in all of 2015, DuBravac said – so CTA is projecting that over six million units will be shipped for the whole year.
- 52 percent of those surveyed plan on an audio gift purchase. The following categories have gained in favor as gifts over 2014: Bluetooth speakers (25 percent vs. 14 percent), sound bars (12 percent vs. eight percent) and portable wireless speakers (18 percent vs. 14 percent). Headphones continue to be a favored gift item by 28 percent of those surveyed.
- Mobile devices will be used by 57 percent of consumers to inform and educate themselves before a purchase – and mobile will be used in about 18 percent of online sales transactions.
- DuBravac noted a shift towards later holiday purchasing, with consumers waiting and watching for the best time to pull the purchase trigger. Most, though, said they expect deals to be comparable to last year.
- Some of the mega retailers, such as Sears, Walmart, and Target, are working hard to bridge the gap between in-store and online purchasing, offering things like curbside pickup of items purchased online, or as in the case of Staples, a “Skip the Lines” promotion that encourages online purchasing on Thanksgiving and in-store pickup on Friday.
- “Black Friday has become a victim of its own success” – Retailers have expanded it to encompass the whole week, and some are having it span the entire month of November.
- “‘Closed on Thursday’ is the new ‘Open on Thursday’” – A host of retailers is making a point of being physically closed Thursday, but their online channels, which are still open on Thursday, are a key part of the strategy.