Holiday Spending Jumps as E-Commerce Beats Brick-and-Mortar

Holiday spending rose this year as e-commerce overtook brick-and-mortar sales again this year.

AccessTimeIconDec 26, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:53 a.m. UTC

E-commerce sales hit record highs this year as Americans continue to move their holiday shopping online.

According to Mastercard’s SpendingPulse report, online retail grew 18.8 percent over last year’s holiday season. That’s enough to make online sales a record 14.6 percent of holiday shoppers' total spending, the report says.

Online consumers this year spent 17 percent more on apparel, 8.8 percent more on jewelry, 10.7 percent more on electronics and 6.9 percent more at department stores. 

Overall, holiday spending jumped 3.4 percent compared to 2018.

The strong numbers came in spite of 2019’s unusually short holiday season, commonly defined as the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Shoppers had six fewer days than they had in 2018 because Thanksgiving came later in the month this year.

Steve Sadove, an advisor for Mastercard, said in a press release that retailers adapted to the shortened season. 

“Due to a later than usual Thanksgiving holiday, we saw retailers offering omnichannel sales earlier in the season, meeting consumers’ demand for the best deals across all channels and devices," he said.

Retailers that accepted crypto or managed crypto payments were slow to respond when CoinDesk asked how their holiday shopping season had gone. eGifter, a gift card trading service, noted that it had not yet "crunched the numbers" on holiday sales but that the company "saw growth in overall crypto sales," said Bill Egan, the site's VP of Marketing.

"We saw more gifting with crypto in 2019, compared to buy-for-self use cases in prior years," he said.

Payment processor BitPay found the holidays quite inspiring as well.

"We saw twice our daily averages of processed volume leading up to the holiday," said BitPay's CMO, Bill Zielke.

Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash


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