2023 was a pretty lackluster year for consumers’ spending on technology: inflation, concerns about global instability, and general household economic ennui caused consumers to ration spending on most electronic gadgets last year.
Enter a more cash-positive mood for many consumers keener in the new year to acquire updated and upgraded tech, from computer hardware to wearable tech for health, according to the forecast released by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) research team.
The study results, announced on the first of two pre-conference Media Days, kicks off CES 2024 convening this week in Las Vegas. The bullish spending statistics reverse a two-year downward trend during which consumers rationed spending in favor of basic household needs (think: inflation and food insecurity). The data will be music to the ears of many tech companies, large and small, who market devices directly to consumers and through retailers like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and others shoppers trust in retail to enable their connected lives.
CTA calls out five key trends in this report: that in 2024,
- Consumers will buy into “megabundles” that put services together to entice people to buy “up” and streamline purchasing experiences
- People will also “stream up” — that is, increase spending on audio streaming 6% over 2023 and video streaming up 4%
- Gamers will spend lots more on hardware such as tablets and VR headsets, and spend 12% more on gaming subscriptions
- Devices and services will go hand-in-hand, with services now “essential” and baked into a product purchase; and,
- AI will be embedded in “everything,” from mobile apps in smartphones to mobility systems, games, fitness wearables, and TV screens.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: With our Health Populi lens firmly focused on health, medical care, and well-being in the consumer’s hands and at-home, the 2024 CTA forecast bodes well for people leveraging hardware platforms they are upgrading — like computers, tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches — for personal health management.
In addition, we see stronger predictions for people spending more money on digital health devices — wearable tech for health and health monitoring equipment (with the heart a mainstream focus that’s become table stakes for wearable tech and home-based monitoring).
Stay tuned for more on-the-show-floor health-tech observations while I’m in Vegas all week….connecting with innovators across the connected health ecosystem…and sharing what I’m learning along the way….