The NPD Group, which recently merged with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), announced its annual Holiday Purchase Intentions report findings and among consumer electronics (CE) categories purchase intent was highest for smartphones, headphones, tablets/e-readers, and smartwatches this holiday shopping season. More than one-third (36%) of consumers expect to purchase a consumer technology product this holiday, which is slightly down from last year (37%) and up from 2020 (33%).
“After two years of strong growth supported by at-home pandemic-era needs, consumers expect to spend fewer dollars this holiday season on CE,” said Paul Gagnon, vice president, industry advisor for NPD. “Categories like smartphones and smartwatches are benefitting from consumers planning to spend more time away from home.”
Of the CE categories, consumer intent to purchase smartphones is highest, and compared to the holiday 2020, 27% more consumers are interested in buying a smartphone this holiday. Consumers with high discretionary income are the main driver of this demand. In fact, 27% of respondents with an annual household income over $150,000 noted interest in purchasing a smartphone this holiday while only 13% showed interest in the $75,000 – $150,000 income group and 12% of those with an income below $75,000.
Following smartphones, consumers reported interest in purchasing headphones and tablets/e-readers this holiday, with smartwatches rounding out the top four. Notably, interest in purchasing a smartwatch hit a three-year high and had the strongest year-over-year interest gain of any CE category.
“Excitement around newly released devices and a longer stretch of holiday promotions will help determine what consumers purchase this holiday season,” said Ben Arnold, executive director and technology industry analyst for NPD. “In addition to these high-interest categories, TVs and smart home products remain CE staples during the holiday timeframe. We can expect promotions to drive unit sales in these categories for the fourth quarter.”
“Holiday purchase intentions for cameras and camcorders has remained consistent versus last year,” added Arnold. “While not in the top five reported categories, smartphones, whose sales are often driven in part by camera enhancements, were the top CE category from a purchase intention perspective.”