Tech Still Tops Many Consumers' Holiday Lists

As the holiday shopping season officially gets underway this week, electronics are once again among the top items on consumers’ lists. 

According to the Consumer Technology Association, consumers have their eyes on emerging categories and products for the home, as well as perennial favorite televisions. According to the CTA’s holiday retail forecast, tech spending will reach nearly $97 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017.

While mainstays such as televisions, tablets, laptops, smartphones and came consoles top consumers wish lists, newer entrants include drones (expected to be purchased by 15% of Americans), robotic vacuums and fitness trackers are also on the list. Consumers are also expressing an interest in cameras, largely driven by bundle deals and the popular action cameras. 

While 59% of consumers will shop online for tech this year (up 2% from last year), 79% will continue to head to physical stores (up 5% from last year). The increase is largely due to the the rise of brand-specific stores (nearly a third expect to go to Apple or Microsoft stores) and pop-up shops like those from Amazon. 



For those shopping online, smartphones will be the device of choice for online shopping, for the first time ever. According to a pre-Black Friday survey from the CTA, 61% say they’ll use their phones for shopping, compared with 54% using laptops and 46% using desktops. Nearly one in five consumers (19%) will use a voice-activated device to shop, according to the CTA.

Accordingly, consumers will be looking closely at delivery and shipping options. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers plan to use two-day or free shipping programs, and more than half (54%) will make use of guaranteed pre-holiday delivery. Forty-four percent plan to use in-store pickup for online orders, while 36% will look for same-day shipping.

“With technology in hand, holiday shoppers are dialed into deals like never before,” said Steve Koenig, senior director of market research, CTA, in a statement. “Consumers are engaging with new retail channels including voice, taking advantage of customized and curated retail experiences and getting gifts through new ways like same-day delivery. It's never been a more exciting time to be a technology consumer.”

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