Holiday Retail Sales Set for Dramatic Climb - eMarketer

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Holiday Retail Sales Set for Dramatic Climb

Topline retail sales will be up more modestly

September 20, 2016

US retail ecommerce holiday season sales will grow rapidly this year, according to a forecast from Kantar Retail. Online sales will trend upward by nearly 16%, while overall retail climbs by less than 4%.

US Retail Sales Growth, by Location/Channel, Q4 2015 & Q4 2016 (% change)

Kantar forecasts slightly higher growth for topline holiday retail sales this year compared to last year. Online sales will also grow more quickly than in Q4 2015.

eMarketer similarly expects digital holiday shopping to grow rapidly this year, as total retail sales climb at a slower pace.

Each holiday season, a larger share of that growing digital pie goes toward mobile. A January 2016 report from Adobe illustrated the change from 2014 to 2015. Two years ago, 56% of all digital traffic to retail sites during November and December came from desktop PCs. In 2015, PCs’ share had fallen to 50%, with mobile phones growing their share by 9 points.

US Holiday Season* Digital Retail Traffic Share, by Device, 2014 & 2015 (% of total)

All signs point to further increases in mobile traffic this year, suggesting desktop traffic will no longer account for majority of all holiday digital retail traffic. Conversion rates are rising on smartphones as well, meaning mobile will also account for a larger than ever share of holiday sales.

This traffic is crucial for retailers. eMarketer estimates that that this year’s retail ecommerce holiday sales will make up almost 25% of total retail ecommerce sales for 2016.


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