Electronic Products & Technology

Pandemic drives tech spending in Canada

EP&T Magazine   

Electronics consumer Electronics pandemic tech

35% of households more likely to buy consumer electronics, according to CTA research

The excitement for technology continues to rise among Canadians, as 35% of households say they are more likely to buy tech products due to the pandemic, according to new research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

CTA’s 6th annual Canadian Consumer Technology Ownership & Market Potential Study also shows that consumer intent to buy tech products in the next 12 months is 5% higher than this time last year – with televisions, smartphones, and home video game consoles helping drive the growth.

“More Canadians now see tech as essential – not only for working, learning, and staying connected during the pandemic, but also for our post-pandemic lives,” said Steve Koenig, VP, research, CTA.  “Tech has allowed people to remain healthy through telemedicine and online fitness services and be entertained during long periods of lockdown. Our new research shows that Canadians plan to keep using newly discovered technologies to improve their daily lives as we emerge from the pandemic.”


Bright Future for Home-based Entertainment

Home entertainment systems are surging in popularity. TVs (90%), DVD/Blu-ray players (54%), and digital streaming devices (43%) are the most-frequently owned products in the category. For the first time, half of Canadian homes (50%) have a 4K Ultra HD TV – a 14-point increase from 2020, the largest growth for any product surveyed.

2021 brought a milestone for the videogame industry with approximately half of Canadian homes (49%, up 10.7% from last year) now owning a videogame console. And 18% of households plan to buy one in the next 12 months, a 25% jump from 2020, illustrating a strong desire for home-based entertainment.

Surge in Stay-At-Home Tech

With Canadians at home more than ever over the past year, purchases were focused on enhancing their experience indoors. For the second year in a row, smart speakers lead the smart home category – 36% of homes now own a smart speaker, and 17% plan to buy one in the next year. Smart light bulbs and smart appliances, at 19% and 18% respectively, are the second-most frequently owned smart home tech.

Additionally, 15% of Canadian households own a robotic vacuum, with 10% indicating they plan to purchase one in the next 12 months.

Twelve per cent of Canadian households now own pet technology—a 50% increase from 2020—likely due to the surge in pet adoptions during the pandemic.

Health and Wellness Trends

The pandemic sped the adoption of health and wellness technologies and services. Nineteen percent of Canadian homes now own air purifiers, 16% have smart or connected health monitoring devices and 11% have connected sports or fitness equipment (up four points from 2020).

Both smartwatches (25% ownership) and wearable activity fitness trackers (28%) showed year-over-year growth.  Looking forward, first-time buyers slightly prefer smartwatches over activity trackers (47% vs. 44%, respectively), indicating new buyers seek functions beyond the capabilities of a wearable fitness tracker, such as enhanced health monitoring apps and productivity tools.

CTA’s 6th Annual Canadian Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study was administered as an online survey to 2004 Canadian adults (18+) between April 9-18, 2021. It was designed and formulated by CTA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer technology industry.

The complete study is available for free for CTA member companies or purchase at CTA.tech/research.



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