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Tech spending to reach new heights for 2021 holiday season

Even with presumer supply chain problems, consumer spending on tech products and services during the 2021 holiday season (October-December) is projected to reach $142.5 billion – a 0.5% increase from 2020, according to new research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

The 28th Annual Consumer Technology Holiday Purchase Patterns report found that 83% of U.S. adults are unaffected by or more likely to purchase tech due to the pandemic. 44% said their tech purchasing would not be affected by the pandemic, up 4 percentage points from 2020, signaling consumers remain enthusiastic about tech a year after the pandemic provided many with more time to try out new products and services.

An all-time high of approximately 191.3 million U.S. adults plan to purchase technology as a gift this holiday season. On average, respondents indicate they plan to spend an estimated $541 on technology gifts. Like years past, the most popular recipient of technology products this holiday season is consumers themselves (41%), followed closely by one’s spouse (37%).

2021 Top 5 Tech Wish List Items for Consumers

Smartphones have once again topped consumers’ list for tech gifts they most want to receive this year. Wearable devices jumped from fifth most popular in 2020 to third this season, largely driven by increased interest in real-time health monitoring technology. Overall, the top five tech products U.S. adults would like to receive as gifts include:


Laptop/Notebook Computers

Wearable Devices

Televisions, and

Tied: Video Game Consoles and Tablets/E-Readers

“The surge in consumer spending on tech is being fueled by the ongoing value people find in these products and services, even amid a pandemic,” said Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of market research for CTA. “The pandemic gave people more time and incentive to discover the many ways technology can improve their lives – from more entertainment options, connection to friends and family, remote working tools and so much more. A notable change from recent years is retailers continuing to pull forward and capture sales earlier in the holiday season – particularly in the wake of recent and ongoing supply chain challenges many consumers are actively watching.”

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