Electronics will remain on the top of holiday gift lists again this year, with more than one-third of consumers buying technology gifts this season.
Roughly 170 million people in the U.S. plan to buy technology gifts this season, or 68% of the consumer base, according to the Consumer Technology Association. That’s a 6% increase over last year. Spending on technology will increase just over 3% to $36 billion during the holiday shopping season.
Though tech and overall spending is forecast to increase, some consumers are still apprehensive. Among reasons consumers cited for spending less were: not having the money (60%), increased cost of living (57%) and the presidential election (38%).
More than half (54%, up 3%) of consumers will shop for technology this year, though brick-and-mortar stores remain the point-of-purchase where 74% of consumers will buy their gifts this year (down 3% from last year).
Headphones will be the post popular tech gift this year (aided by the industry’s emphasis on wireless audio). Emerging technology will also be popular, specifically wearables, smart home devices and connected or digital toys, according to the association.
Virtual reality will also make its first real appearance this year. The CTA projects sales of 700,000 VR headsets this holiday season. Drone sales are also expected to increase 112% over last year, with projected sales of about 1.2 million units.
"The 2016 holiday season looks to be the biggest on record for the tech sector, thanks to fresh and innovative products on the market such as wearable tech, VR headsets, drones and digital assistant devices," said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist, CTA. "Our research also finds that most Americans are now using tech devices to help them research and buy tech gifts, a key driver of tech spending this holiday."