Record technology spending is expected this holiday season, according to a consumer technology spending forecast from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
Nearly two-thirds of adults (66%) plan to buy a tech product as a gift this year, driving expected purchases to a record-setting $96.1 billion during the period, marking a 3.4% increase over last year’s sales.
Smart speaker sales are expected to be particularly strong, with a 44% projected jump, reach 22 million units for the season. Smart speakers with displays are making an impact, with 6% of shoppers expecting to buy smart speakers with displays, according to the CTA report.
Consumer Technology Spending Forecast
Smart home devices are also expected to jump, with 36% of survey respondents expected to purchase something in this category, which includes security camera, light bulbs, video doorbells and smart speakers.
“2018 has shown us that consumers are willing to spend a premium on technology that is essential to their everyday lives – such as smartphones, laptops and TVs – and we expect that dynamic to continue through the season, driving overall holiday consumer tech sales to a new high this year,” said Ben Arnold, senior director of innovation and trends for CTA, in a prepared statement. “In addition to those core devices, key emerging categories to watch this holiday season are smart home devices – powered by voice technology – smartwatches and wireless earbuds.”
Key projections include:
- Smart Speakers: CTA projects smart speakers such as Amazon’s Echo and Google Home, will have another strong holiday season, selling an expected 22 million units (up 44 percent over 2017). New for 2018 is the emergence of smart speakers with displays – six percent of overall shoppers plan to purchase a smart speaker with a screen and 12 percent plan to purchase a smart speaker without a screen.
- Smart Home Devices: Fueled by the popularity of voice technology, 36 percent of respondents plan to purchase a smart home product in 2018 – including smart speakers, security cameras, smart lightbulbs and video door bells.
- Smartwatches: Jumping up from last year, nearly one in five of U.S. adults plan to buy a smartwatch this year. CTA expects over seven million smartwatches will sell this holiday season – a 26 percent increase.
- Wireless Earbuds: Wireless earbuds are now a key holiday tech gift, with 5.3 million units expected to sell – a 60 percent increase over 2017. Forty percent of the U.S. adults planning to purchase a gift within the headphones/earbuds category say they’re likely to buy wireless earbuds this season.
- Drones: With expected sales of 1.5 million units this holiday season (up eight percent over 2017), drones continue to be a popular tech gift.
“Once again, voice will come to define this holiday season with more smart speakers on wish lists, added voice compatibility in tech devices and more voice shopping,” said Lesley Rohrbaugh, CTA director of market research, in a prepared statement. “Technology is playing the biggest role in not only what we buy as gifts, but how.”