CEA Sees Rosy Holiday Forecast For Industry

TV-with-BowIt’s going to be an electronic holiday season yet again.

According to new research from the Consumer Electronics Association, U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $246 on electronics gifts -- an increase of 6% over the previous year, and the highest level since the organization began tracking holiday spending. Put another way, of the total $769 the CEA expects the average consumer to spend on holiday gifts, fully a third of it will be on electronics.

“We’re headed into the holiday season on a solid footing,” Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and director of research for the CEA, tells Marketing Daily. “When you look at tech, it’s very strong. It’s the highest that it’s been in the history of our survey.”

Tablet computers top consumers’ electronic wish lists (tablets are second only to clothes on the overall wish lists, according to the CEA), followed by notebook and laptop computers, TVs, e-readers and video game consoles. Eighty percent of adults plan to also give gift cards this year (an increase of 5% over last year, many of which will be used for digital content and services.  (A quarter of adults will give gift cards to be used for digital purchases; 20% will give cards for electronic book purchases and 16% will give cards for apps.)

“This year we tried to ask specifically what they were going to give the cards for,” DuBravac says. “We also asked teens how they planned to spend those gift cards. Fifty-seven percent said they planned to spend them on apps. Seventy-five percent said they planned to spend them on music.”

Yet price still matters. Two-thirds of consumers will compare electronics prices online before making a purchase, although they are still more likely to buy electronics gifts through a mass merchant rather than through a warehouse club or online, according to the CEA.

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