With Black Friday now just a little more than a week away, we will soon know if industry expectations for a blockbuster holiday sales season for virtual reality will kick off with a bang during the traditional post-Thanksgiving retail rush.
A record-setting 116 million Americans plan to purchase tech or tech accessories during Black Friday Week, according to a freshly published report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
CTA’s 2016 Pre-Black Friday Survey shows a ten percentage point jump in the number of American adults planning to buy tech products from the Monday before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday (November 21-28, 2016).
“By all accounts, the 2016 Black Friday week looks like it will be a record breaker for tech,” said Shawn DuBravac, Ph.D., chief economist for the CTA. “Even with delayed promotions from retailers and manufacturers, and signs of pre-election uncertainty, we expect consumer enthusiasm for technology purchases during the holidays to be higher than ever.”
“Outside of the tech perennials – TVs, laptops, smartphones – expect to see front page circular deals from a variety of retailers on emerging products including drones, virtual reality and digital assistant devices such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home,” said DuBravac. “On average, half of the unit volume of newer, emerging categories sells in the fourth quarter alone – a promising indicator for these new and innovative products.”
As for the nitty gritty numbers involved? Over the course of the fourth quarter holiday season, CTA projects strong U.S. sales for:
Drones (1.2 million units in the 2016 holidays, a 112 percent increase over 2015)
VR (700,000 headset units during the 2016 holiday season)
4K Ultra High-Definition (4K UHD) TVs (2016 holiday shipments of 4.5 million units)
In total, a record 180 million U.S. adults plan to shop during Black Friday Week, today’s report summary concludes.