Press Release | November 08, 2018

Eighty-Five Percent of Black Friday Week Shoppers Plan to Buy Tech, Says CTA

Danielle Cassagnol
Eighty-five percent of U.S. shoppers during Black Friday Week (Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday), plan to buy tech devices, according to part one of a new study series released today by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The 2018 Holiday Outlook Series, Part 1: Pre-Black Friday Week also finds that the top tech categories shoppers plan to purchase are smartphones, TVs, portable Bluetooth speakers, videogame consoles and laptops.

"About 110 million U.S. adults plan to shop for tech over Thanksgiving Week, including Black Friday," said Ben Arnold, senior director of innovation and trends, CTA. "During the biggest shopping week of the year, people will shop for tech more than any other category besides clothing and accessories. Further, almost a third of those planning to shop during the holiday season say they wait all year for Thanksgiving Week to buy big-ticket tech items like smartphones and TVs."

Top Tech Products
Among U.S. adults intending to purchase tech products during Thanksgiving week, the top five tech products and accessories shoppers plan to buy are:

Tech Devices:
  1. Smartphone and TV (tied ranking)
  2. Portable Bluetooth Speaker
  3. Video Game Console and Laptop (tied ranking)
  4. Digital Media Streaming Device
  5. Smartwatch
Tech Accessories and Content:
  1. Mobile Device Case
  2. Videogame Discs
  3. Wireless Headphones
  4. Wireless Earbuds
  5. Portable Battery Charger and Streaming Services (tied ranking)
How Will Americans Shop for Tech During Thanksgiving week?
U.S. adult shoppers planning to purchase tech products during this holiday week are expecting to embrace both physical and online shopping methods to do their shopping:
  • Brick-and-mortar (98 percent), with the largest subset planning to shop at a mass merchant.
  • Online (93 percent) led by those planning to shop using a desktop, laptop or mobile device.
  • Additionally, among online shoppers, 42.4 million U.S. adults plan to shop for tech using a voice-enabled digital assistant.
Using Tech to Buy and Deliver Tech
Among Thanksgiving Week shoppers, consumers plan to use the following options:
  • Home delivery of online purchases (59 percent).
  • Online purchases through an app (38 percent).
  • Online purchases for in-store pickup (37 percent).

"The lines are blurring between what days consumers will shop - and how they'll shop during the 2018 Black Friday shopping week," said Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of market research, CTA. "There's no longer a clear winner in terms of the most popular shopping day or retail channel. We'll see this play out especially among those who plan to shop online - with many indicating they'll order online to pick up in store, make purchases in app and voice purchases. Experimentation with new ways to shop and procure products now can lead to lasting shifts in behavior."

'Tis the Week to Self-Gift
Beyond Black Friday Week, over the course of the entire holiday shopping season U.S. shoppers aren't planning to purchase tech gifts just for others this Black Friday shopping week, using week to take advantage of the deals on tech. In fact, 33 percent of shoppers indicate they are likely to buy tech devices (not including tech accessories) for themselves - more than for their household (30 percent), a family member (28 percent) or a non-family member (six percent).

Holiday Season Category Sales Projections
Over the course of the entire holiday shopping season, which spans the fourth quarter of the year (from October through December), CTA projects strong U.S. sales for:
  • Smart speakers such as Amazon's Echo and Google Home, which will sell 22 million units (up 44 percent over 2017).
  • Smartwatches are projected to sell over seven million units this holiday season (up 26 percent).
  • Wireless Earbuds are anticipated to sell 5.3 million units - a 60 percent increase over 2017's holiday season.
To keep up to date with all of CTA's holiday, Black Friday research throughout the season, visit CTA's 2018 Holiday Outlook Series, Part 1: Pre-Black Friday Week was designed and formulated by CTA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer technology industry. CTA fielded the survey October 25-28, 2018 using an online representative sample of 2,008 U.S. adults (18+). The report comes at no cost for CTA members and is available at