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Record Number of Americans to Buy Tech Over Black Friday Week, Says CTA

Arlington, VA – November 16, 2016 – 

A record-setting 116 million Americans – almost half the U.S. adult population (47 percent) – plan to purchase tech or tech accessories during Black Friday Week, according to new research released today by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™. CTA’s 2016 Pre-Black Friday Survey shows a ten percentage point jump in the number of American adults planning to buy tech products from the Monday before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday (November 21-28, 2016). The survey, fielded after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, finds the outcome will not significantly impact the timing of consumer holiday shopping plans with only 12 percent planning to shop later this year because of the election.

“By all accounts, the 2016 Black Friday week looks like it will be a record breaker for tech,” said Shawn DuBravac, Ph.D., chief economist, CTA. “Even with delayed promotions from retailers and manufacturers, and signs of pre-election uncertainty, we expect consumer enthusiasm for technology purchases during the holidays to be higher than ever.”

Top Tech for Black Friday Week
Among U.S. adults intending to purchase tech products during the week of Thanksgiving, the top ten tech products shoppers plan to buy are: 

  1. Televisions 
  2. Laptop computers 
  3. Smartphones 
  4. Videogame consoles
  5. Tablet computers 
  6. Headphones 
  7. Tech accessories  
  8. DVD or Blu-ray Disc players 
  9. Digital cameras 
  10. Wearables


“Outside of the tech perennials – TVs, laptops, smartphones – expect to see front page circular deals from a variety of retailers on emerging products including drones, virtual reality and digital assistant devices such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home,” said DuBravac. “On average, half of the unit volume of newer, emerging categories sells in the fourth quarter alone – a promising indicator for these new and innovative products.”

Over the course of the fourth quarter holiday season, CTA projects strong U.S. sales for: 

  • Drones (1.2 million units in the 2016 holidays, a 112 percent increase over 2015)
  • VR (700,000 headset units during the 2016 holiday season)
  • 4K Ultra High-Definition (4K UHD) TVs (2016 holiday shipments of 4.5 million units)


Unstoppable Online and Mobile Shopping
In total, a record 180 million U.S. adults plan to shop during Black Friday Week. Almost half (46 percent) of U.S. adults – 114 million people – plan to shop online, and notably, over two thirds (70 percent of online shoppers) plan to use mobile devices. Most Black Friday Week shoppers still plan to shop at a physical store (54 percent). 

MEDIA CALL: CTA plans to give a first look at the 2016 Post Black Friday Survey on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 1 PM ET and discuss key data from Black Friday, including what tech consumers purchased, where and how they shopped. To RSVP, please contact Danielle Cassagnol.

JOINT MEDIA CALL: Additionally, CTA will host a joint media call with the National Retail Federation (NRF) on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 10 AM ET featuring CTA Chief Economist, Dr. Shawn DuBravac and NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz to analyze the biggest shopping week of the year and discuss what the rest of the holiday shopping season has in store. To RSVP, please contact Danielle Cassagnol.    

CTA’s 2016 Pre-Black Friday Survey was designed and formulated by the Consumer Technology Association. It represents the findings of the study conducted November 10-13, 2016 using a combined landline and mobile telephone sample consisting of 1,011 U.S. adults. Please cite any information to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™. For CTA’s Pre-Black Friday Survey and full holiday outlook, visit CTA.tech/holiday

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