It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for people who want new computers, smartphones, and all manner of tech gifts this holiday season.
As the chart below shows, nearly half of Americans want at least some tech product to be waiting for them under the tree.
And overwhelmingly, it is the older generations who plan on doing the most tech shopping this holiday season. Americans over 55 are 37% more likely than Americans under 55 to be buying items such as computers, smartphones, and video game consoles as gifts. And grandparents beat out parents and everyone else when it comes to planning on buying tech.
Conversely, the age group least interested in receiving tech as a gift? Americans over 55, who want tech at a 35% lower rate than all other generations combined. Unsurprisingly, Gen Z is most interested in receiving tech as a gift, with over 6 in 10 members of that cohort hoping to score the latest technological wonders.
Computers Are At the Top of Tech Wish Lists
Overall, computers lead the way in the “want” category, with 7% of Americans saying they are interested in getting one as a gift. One main reason is their expense, as 21% of Americans with household incomes under $50K are interested in getting a computer, which is nearly double that of higher income groups.
Computers also skew young, with 8% of Gen Z interested in getting a computer, though it is worth noting that Gen X isn’t far behind.
Luckily, it appears many who desire will receive, as 6% of Americans plan on buying a computer for someone this holiday season.
Kids Aren’t the Only Ones Waiting for An Upgrade
Another high-priced item – the smartphone – is second on the want list, with 6% of Americans looking to score a new one this season. This is another almost-match, as 5% of the gift-buying nation plans to purchase a smartphone as a gift.
And much like computers, Gen Z and Gen X lead the way, but this time, it’s Gen X looking to upgrade their phone game at the highest rate, with 8% of Xers wanting a new phone.
A Disconnect Over Smart Speakers
One of the big disconnects this holiday season is the smart speaker category, with 3% of Americans planning to buy one for a loved one or friend, but only 1% of Americans saying they want one.
Reasons? Obviously not because Americans don’t like smart speakers; over 3 in 10 Americans own one, nearly triple that of three years ago. However, it may simply come down to price. No longer a big-ticket item – the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini both sell for about $20 – it’s just not something Americans seem to be wasting Santa’s time with. Retailers might see a number of smart speaker returns when the holidays are over.
Tech Trend Watchers Aren’t Buying
Perhaps the most telling stat from the study: People who don’t plan on buying tech as gifts for the holidays are 55% more likely to say they “closely” follow trends and current events in electronics and technology.
The same people who closely follow the tech and electronics industry would prefer – by a wide margin – that someone does buy them a tech gift this holiday season, with smartwatches, fitness trackers, and computers being at the top of their lists.
Gender Plays a Role
As always, men and women see things a little differently. In fact, 13% of tech-gift interested women want a tablet this season, compared to 7% of men who are interested in a tech gift.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest gap among people who want technology this holiday is in the video game console category; tech-gift interested men are twice as likely as tech-gift interested women to be interested in one.
Other notable differences among the tech-gift interested: Women are more likely to want a fitness tracker or smart watch, men are nearly twice as likely to want a wireless speaker, and men would prefer any tech item at a 4% higher rate.
Consumers of all demographics are on the lookout for more technology. It is safe to say that retailers need to check their stock and prepare for more sales despite the passing of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And computer manufacturers specifically need to take a hard look at their marketing to make sure they are targeting the right buyers.
For more trending gifts this season, check out the CivicScience 2019 Holiday Spending Report.