Ecommerce Spending Forecast To Skyrocket This Holiday Season

Shoppers are expected to significantly increase their ecommerce spending this holiday season. eMarketer expects U.S. holiday ecommerce sales to grow 35.8 percent to $190.47 billion. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are both projected to surpass $10 billion in ecommerce sales. This significant uptick should offset brick-and-mortar declines during the season.

Retailers are bracing for a softer holiday season due to the pandemic. However, consumers’ $190.47 billion spending on holiday ecommerce purchases represents an incremental $50.19 billion in sales vs. 2019. In-store holiday sales will decline by 4.7 percent to $822.79 billion. But online gains will make up for these losses, resulting in total holiday season sales growing by 0.9 percent to $1.013 trillion.

“This holiday season will see a continuation of the channel shift to ecommerce, as shoppers look to avoid crowds and minimize their number of in-person shopping trips,” says Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. “With these huge gains expected, there’s growing concern around the potential for ‘shippageddon,’ where high package volumes overwhelm logistics capacity and result in deliveries arriving after Christmas. We believe that shoppers will pull forward more of their purchases than they typically do and shift ecommerce buying to click-and-collect orders over the last 10 days of the season to prevent these scenarios.”

The “Cyber Five” promotional period—Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday—is also expected to continue gaining share of the total holiday ecommerce pie, rising slightly this year to capture 20.5 percent. eMarketer forecasts that Cyber Five ecommerce sales in the U.S. will bring in $39.10 billion in 2020, up 39.6 percent from 2019.

eMarketer expects some record-breaking days within the Cyber Five period. On Thanksgiving Day, it forecasts a dramatic increase in sales, up 49.5 percent, to $6.18 billion.

With most big–box retailers keeping their doors closed on Thanksgiving this year, it is anticipated that shopping will move to mobile. Black Friday will experience its first-ever $10 billion spending day, rising 39.4 percent year-over-year. The Cyber Five period will be capped off with record-setting sales on Cyber Monday, which eMarketer predicts will rise 38.3 percent to $12.89 billion—once again landing as the top online spending day of the year.

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