No doubt Black November has become a thing, with some retailers’ mounting month-long pre-holiday sales the minute they’re done with Halloween.
But according to newly-released research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), Thanksgiving week proper still reigns supreme among Americans as the prime shopping period for electronics.
Of the 1,045 U.S. shoppers polled this month by CTA, 85 percent said they plan to purchase technology products during turkey week. Black Friday was the most popular day for shopping, cited by 37 percent, followed by Cyber Monday, which was preferred by 33 percent of respondents. Another 45 percent said they also like to shop in December.
Watch: Scenes From CES Unveiled New York
The findings were revealed at CTA’s annual CES Unveiled event in New York, where the trade group’s market research director Lesley Rohrbaugh, and senior director of innovation and trends Ben Arnold, shared a stage.
Arnold noted that Black Friday shopping isn’t limited to low-priced doorbusters either. Indeed, 31 percent of those polled said they wait until the holiday weekend to make their big-ticket tech purchases, although 46 percent are ready to leap at a good deal any time of the year.
Another CTA finding: the season of giving is aptly named. Forty-one percent of holiday shoppers plan to buy tech accessories for a family member, the survey showed, while one third conceded that they’re more likely to buy tech devices for themselves than anyone else.
The researchers also recounted highlights from the "25th Annual Consumer Technology Holiday Purchase Patterns Study,” released last month. The report projected a 3.4 percent increase in holiday tech spending, to $96.1 billion, with TVs, laptops, mobile devices, smart watches, desktop and cameras topping consumer wish lists.
Meanwhile, the ever-shifting retail landscape has brought with it new approaches to selling, including shop-by-voice; rolling retail stores like Amazon’s Treasure Trucks; customized offers via social media apps; and more and different concierge services.
Looking ahead to CES 2019 and the new year, Arnold and Rohrbaugh said key trends to watch include:
- digital assistants, which will become more pervasive, even beyond Alexa and Google Home, as consumers employ them for a wider range of tasks;
- whole-home AI, which will connect and control entire suites of household devices;
- 5G, whose low latency, or lag time, and breathtaking speeds will be vital in connecting not just people but also things, like autonomous cars; and
- smart cities, which will utilize each of the aforementioned technologies and more to operate urban infrastructure more safely and efficiently.