The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) estimates that 51.2 million American adults bought or planned to buy technology products over the Black Friday weekend--and that the number of tech purchases and amount spent per shopper were both up this year, even though overall shopping traffic was down. TVs were the most popular item on the shopping list, followed by tablets and notebook computers.
From the CEA
An estimated 51.2 million American adults (45 percent of all shoppers) bought or planned to buy consumer technology products during the 2014 Thanksgiving shopping weekend, according to a new survey released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). CEA's 2014 Black Friday Report also finds that while overall shopping traffic was down slightly this holiday weekend compared to last year, several areas saw notable growth, including reported spending per person and tech purchases.
"Consumers' appetite for purchasing technology products during the start of the holiday shopping season hit new highs this Thanksgiving weekend," said Shawn DuBravac, Ph.D., chief economist, CEA and author of CEA's soon-to-be released book Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Work, Live, and Communicate. "We saw more shoppers putting tech in their baskets this holiday weekend - 45 percent - than in any of the last three years. Only clothing, at 69 percent, was more popular among consumers; and toys were again third, at 43 percent. This shows tech is poised to enjoy strong sales throughout the entire 2014 holiday season."
2014 Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping Traffic and Overall Spending
In total, 113.2 million U.S. adults (46 percent) shopped or plan to shop over the holiday weekend from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday - down 18 million shoppers from 2013.
CEA estimates Americans will spend $39.9 billion over the entire 2014 Thanksgiving shopping weekend. While the number of shoppers declined in 2014, consumers who shopped spent more, with an average of $371 - a 4.8 percentage point increase over 2013.
"Black Friday and Cyber Monday were once relatively independent shopping days, but they've expanded into a 10-day shopping period that encompass the days ahead of Black Friday as well," said DuBravac. "A drop in shopping traffic over the holiday weekend is likely due to transactions being pulled forward, as retailers offer more deals in-stores and online earlier in the week than in previous years."
Top Tech for Black Friday
Among the 51.2 million Americans adults who bought or were planning to buy technology products over the weekend, TVs (37 percent) were the most popular CE device purchased or planned to purchase. Tablets (35 percent), notebook computers (23 percent), videogame consoles (23 percent) and portable wireless speakers (23 percent) were the other most frequently anticipated tech purchases over the 2014 Thanksgiving weekend.
"While televisions are always a popular item for shoppers during the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, consumers showed a remarkable appetite for them this year," said DuBravac. "We're in a 'sweet spot' for TV purchases, consumer demand appears to be driven by three main factors: phenomenal deals across all TV categories, movement into a new upgrade cycle for consumers and interest in new technologies such as 4K Ultra HD."
Of U.S. adults who shopped this Thanksgiving weekend and bought tech products, 45 percent did so online (on par with 2013) and 77 percent shopped in-store (a ten percentage point decrease from 2013).
According to CEA's holiday outlook, total tech spending during the entire holiday shopping season will increase 2.5 percent - up from 0.9 percent growth in 2013 - to reach a record $33.76 billion.
Consistent with CEA's earlier predictions (CEA's holiday research and 2014 Pre-Black Friday Report), online purchases contributed significantly to shopping totals this year. Of those Americans that shopped online, consumers cited convenience (88 percent) as their top reason for shopping online, followed by avoiding crowds (78 percent) and finding better or similar deals online compared to in stores (77 percent).