U.S. consumers living in broadband households plan on spending more on consumer electronics (CE) devices this holiday season than they have since 2008, according to survey results from Parks Associates. New Consumer Analytics research from Parks says that U.S. consumers intend to spend over 33% more on CE devices during the holiday season this year—an average $1,058 per household compared with 2011’s $793 per household.
Surveying 2,500 U.S. broadband households in October and November, Parks researchers found that 63% plan to make a CE purchase this holiday season. That’s 37% higher than in last year’s survey.
Tablets and smartphones top holiday CE device shoppers’ lists, with iPads and iPhones ranking highest in their respective categories.
“Twenty-six percent of U.S. consumers intend to spend more on CE, the best rate since 2008,” said John Barrett, Parks Associates director, Consumer Analytics. “For the first time, more U.S. households plan to purchase a tablet than a laptop, netbook, or Ultrabook computer.”
CE shoppers are searching for a CE device with the portability of a tablet yet with the advanced analytics of a laptop, but the device with the ideal combination doesn’t exist yet, according to Parks. “The introduction of the Microsoft Surface tablet brought some enthusiasm from consumers, but interest dropped sharply once Microsoft announced pricing and the additional cost of the keyboard attachment,” Barrett commented.
“The iPad Mini, conversely, is luring many tablet buyers with its lower price point. The market is still searching for a device that combines the benefits of both laptops and tablets.”
Among those planning to purchase tablets, it’s 25-34 year olds earning between $75,000-$100,000 per year, or who already own a tablet or multiple desktops/laptops that “are most likely to consider tablets as laptop substitutes,” according to Parks’ report.
More broadly speaking, holiday shoppers’ CE purchase intentions are increasing across the board, as are their intentions to make purchases online, Parks found. Forty-seven percent of tablet shoppers plan to purchase their devices online, according to this year’s survey results. That compares with 32% last year.
Twenty-five percent looking to purchase flat-panel TVs intend to buy one online as compared to 17% in 2011, but online storefronts operated by familiar names will be favored. “For almost all CE products, online shoppers show a preference for online storefronts of traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Best Buy. These findings indicate retail chains, despite current short-term challenges, will have a long-term role in selling and serving CE devices,” Parks says.