CTA: Emerging Tech Categories Driving Retail Growth

Broader adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) and enthusiasm for emerging technology will drive the U.S. consumer technology industry to $286.6 billion in retail revenues in 2016, according to the Consumer Technology Association’s semi-annual forecast.

The latest version of CTA’s industry report, U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts, reported that sales of burgeoning technology products such as wearables and smart home devices will deliver an increase of 1.3% over last year’s industry revenues.

“We’re in the midst of a critical transition period, as more IoT products offer the anytime/anywhere access and seamless experiences that today’s consumers want and need,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “This is a pivotal point in consumer technology history, as emerging technology categories push the entire industry forward. And, the value of these innovations goes far beyond entertainment, today’s technology is changing our lives for the better.”

According to the forecast, the emerging wearable technology category, driven by the popularity of fitness activity trackers, is reported to reach almost 48 million units, a 39% increase, in 2016. Fitness activity tracker volumes will hit 28 million units in 2016, a 60% increase from 2015, with revenues reaching $2.2 billion, a 62% increase.

For the smart home, the study reported the category to reach 9.5 million units sold in 2016, a 29% increase. Revenue will grow to $1.3 billion, a 24% jump.

“Technology is constantly and continuously reinventing itself, often cannibalizing its own growth before anything else does,” said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist, CTA. “The swath of emerging categories hitting the market in 2016 and the exponential growth of IoT are indelibly shaping the way we live our lives. How we use the Internet, and the new products coming to market today, are changing who we are becoming.”