One third of U.S. adult holiday shoppers (34 percent) say they have a lot more shopping left or have barely started shopping, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Further, the 2018 Holiday Outlook Series, Part Three: December
also shows 80 percent of holiday shoppers have money left to spend on holiday gifts.
New Online Shopping Behavior
Almost a quarter (24 percent) of U.S. adults shopping for holiday gifts this season are trying a new online ordering method – such as ordering via mobile device or smart speaker – while 21 percent of holiday shoppers are using a new delivery method such as curbside pickup or in-home delivery.
The top online delivery methods for holiday shoppers so far in December are online shipping programs (47 percent), guaranteed delivery by the holidays (39 percent) and in-store pickup for online orders (37 percent). Of note, 21 percent of holiday shoppers are using in-home delivery services such as Amazon Key or Walmart Delivery, and 16 percent are using same day delivery for online orders.
“With almost a quarter of holiday consumers saying they are trying new online ordering and delivery programs to shop for gifts, the race is on for retailers to capture the remaining 34 percent of last minute shoppers,” said Ben Arnold, senior director of innovation and trends, CTA. “Retailers are innovating to address consumers’ embrace of online shopping by offering faster and free delivery programs, providing interactive web experiences and even partnerships between retailers and ridesharing companies.”
December Shopper Sentiment
Most consumers (58 percent) say December is their most popular shopping month, while less than half (45 percent) chose November (including Black Friday Week). Among U.S. adults who have shopped or plan to shop this holiday season:
- 55 percent make online purchase decisions based on retailer shipping options (i.e., if a retailer offers guaranteed or faster shipping, they’ll shop with them).
- 46 percent expect to shop for holiday gifts up until the last possible day.
- 45 percent think online sales for tech are generally better than those offered in-store.
- 34 percent think deals for tech are better in December than Thanksgiving Week.
“Late December will be characterized by retailers pushing programs like in-store pickup for online orders that get people to the store to get their gifts on time,” said Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of market research for CTA. “And with almost half of holiday shoppers looking for gifts until the last possible day, expect Saturday the 22nd to be the biggest in-store shopping day in December.”
Top Tech Products During December
The top five tech products and accessories shoppers purchased or plan to purchase before the end of the holiday season are:
- Videogame Consoles.
- Digital Media Streaming Devices.
Entire Holiday Season Category Sales Projections
- Videogame Discs.
- Wireless Earbuds.
- Wireless Headphones.
- Streaming Services.
- Videogame Accessories.
Over the course of the entire holiday shopping season, which spans October through December, CTA projections
also show strong U.S. sales for:
- Smart speakers such as Amazon's Echo and Google Home – 22 million units, up 44 percent over 2017.
- Smartwatches – over seven million units this holiday season, up 26 percent.
- Drones – 1.5 million units this holiday season, up eight percent over 2017.
All of CTA’s holiday research can be found at CTA.tech/holiday
CTA's 2018 Holiday Outlook Series, Part Three: December
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 December 6-9, 2018 using an online representative sample of 2,012 U.S. adults (18+). The report comes at no cost for CTA members and is available at CTA.tech/holiday.