The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) sees a record-setting holiday season for technology, with an estimated 170 million Americans—or 68% of consumers—buying at least one piece of tech. That would mark an all-time high and a 3.1% jump from 2015.
“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 for CTA, in a statement. “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."
Overall tech spending during the holidays is expected to pass $36 billion, with 57% of consumers saying they’ll buy their tech online—a large percentage but still under the 74% who said they’ll buy at traditional brick and mortar stores. Drones, headphones, laptops, TVs, smartphones, tablets and game consoles are all among the top tech categories consumers mentioned they’ll be looking for during the holiday season.
A full 10% of consumers said they’ll be buying virtual reality headsets, with CTA projecting sales of 700,000 during the holiday season.
“The holiday shopping season has been steadily creeping earlier and earlier into the year, but we expect to see a delay in the barrage of holiday promotions this year until after the presidential election," DuBravac said. "Given uncertainty among voters, this election will impact not only when consumers begin to shop but, potentially, how much they spend."