Have US Consumers Begun Their Holiday Shopping? - eMarketer

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Have US Consumers Begun Their Holiday Shopping?

November, December ecommerce sales to hit $94.71 billion

October 13, 2016

By the end of October, more than half of US internet users will have begun to cross items off their holiday shopping lists. April research suggests that this month is the tipping point, with the remaining 41% of shoppers beginning in November or later.

Time of Year When US Internet Users Plan to Begin Holiday Shopping, April 2016 (% of respondents)

Epsilon polled 2,294 US internet users ages 25 and older on their upcoming holiday shopping plans.

More than a third (36%) of respondents said they would start their holiday shopping before October. And by the end of this month, 23% more will have begun—meaning that starting around now, most people will be shopping for the holidays.

Most of the remaining 41% of shoppers who plan to start after October will do so in November.

Speaking of November shopping, a separate study from Market Track and Qualtrics revealed where US internet users will be going to buy their gifts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. More respondents said they plan to shop digitally instead of physical stores on these days, suggesting that ecommerce could be setting itself up for a successful holiday of its own.

According to eMarketer forecasts, while overall holiday retail sales are on track to see a gain of 3.3% compared to the same period last year, holiday retail ecommerce sales are expected to reach $94.71 billion and account for 10.7% of total retail sales for the first time. Kantar Retail has a similar outlook, forecasting online holiday sales to increase by 15.9% for Q4, compared to 14.8% during the same quarter last year.

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