US Holiday Shopping 2017: Shoppers Continue Online Migration for This Year's Season - eMarketer
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US Holiday Shopping 2017: Shoppers Continue Online Migration for This Year's Season

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: August 17, 2017

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

US retail ecommerce sales are expected to jump 16.6% during the 2017 holiday season, driven by increases in mobile commerce and the intensifying online battle between large retailers and digital marketplaces. At the same time, total retail sales will grow a moderate 3.1%, as retailers continue to experience heavy discounting during the core holiday shopping months of November and December.

  • Though moderate, growth in total retail sales during this year’s holiday shopping season will be buoyed by strong consumer confidence, low unemployment and solid economic performance.
  • Ecommerce’s share of total retail sales during the 2017 holiday shopping season will reach a record 11.5%.
  • A big driver of ecommerce will be the continued growth of mcommerce sales—particularly smartphone commerce, which will rise by an estimated 57.8% in 2017 overall.
  • The timeframe of the holiday season continues to lengthen. Nearly a third of holiday gift buyers polled last year said they started their shopping in October or earlier; this year, even more shoppers will start early.
  • Consumers expect variable fulfillment options, as half now buy online and pick up in-store. Voice-activated virtual assistants are also influencing holiday shopping, though mainly as a search tool as it’s still early days for the platforms.
  • Ecommerce continues to consolidate around marketplaces, with Amazon in the clear lead, followed by eBay. Walmart, however, is competing hard to catch up.

"The anticipated 16.6% growth in retail ecommerce sales in the 2017 holiday season represents an increase from 2016 as well as a growing gap to the moderate growth in total retail sales."

Table of Contents

eMarketer Holiday Forecast

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Six Key Trends for Holiday 2017

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28 charts are included in the full report:

US Holiday Shopping 2017: Shoppers Continue Online Migration for This Year’s Season

US Retail and Retail Ecommerce* Holiday Season Sales Growth, 2011-2017 (% change)

eMarketer Holiday Forecast

US Retail and Retail Ecommerce* Holiday Season Sales Growth, 2011-2017 (% change)

Total Retail

US Retail Sales, 2016-2021 (trillions and % change)

US Retail Sales, by Segment, H1 2014-H1 2017 (trillions and % change)

US Retail Sales, Q1 2016-Q4 2017 (trillions and % change vs. same quarter of prior year)

US In-Store Retail Sales Growth, by Metric, Jan-June 2017 (% change vs. same period of prior year)

US Digital Buyers Who Purchase Products Digitally vs. In-Store, 2014 & 2017 (% of respondents)

Ecommerce Will Grab Bigger Slice of Retail Sales

US Retail Ecommerce Holiday Season Sales, 2013-2017

US Retail Ecommerce Sales, Q1 2016-Q4 2017 (billions and % change vs. same quarter of prior year)

US Retail Ecommerce Sales, 2016-2021 (billions, % change and % of total retail sales)

US Digital Grocery Sales, 2013-2022 (billions)

Consumers Embrace Buying via Phones

US Retail Mcommerce Sales, by Device, 2016-2021 (billions, % change and % of total)

US Ecommerce Visit and Revenue Share During the Holiday Season, by Device, Nov 1-Dec 31, 2016 (% of total)

Google Product Listing Ad (PLA) Benchmarks Worldwide: Click Share, by Device, Q1 2016 & Q1 2017 (among campaigns analyzed by iProspect)

Six Key Trends for Holiday 2017

Time of Year When US Internet Users Conduct the Majority of Their Holiday Shopping, Jan 2017 (% of respondents)

Time of Year When US Internet Users Plan to Start vs. Finish Select Holiday Shopping Activities, Oct 2016 (% of respondents)

No. 2: Race to Bottom in Pricing Will Continue

Leading In-Store Retail Challenges According to US* Retailers, 2016 & 2017 (% of respondents)

Reasons that US Internet Users Purchase Products on Amazon, by Age, March 2017 (% of respondents)

No. 3: Variable Fulfillment Options Become the Norm

Implementation of Select Fulfillment Options According to Retail Executives in North America, April 2017 (% of respondents)

US Internet Users Who Buy Online and Pick Up In-Store, 2015-2017 (% of respondents)

Digital Shopping Features that Would Influence US Internet Users to Be Most Loyal to a Brand, Product or Service, by Age, March 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

No. 4: Virtual Assistants Will Play a Bigger Role in Search

US Voice-Enabled Speaker Users and Penetration, 2016-2021 (millions and % of population)

Activities Conducted via Virtual Assistants by US Virtual Assistant Users, by Age, April 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

Ways in Which Smartphone Owners in the US vs. Worldwide Use Voice-Enabled Technology*, June 2017 (% of respondents)

No. 5: Ecommerce Continues to Consolidate Around Marketplaces

US Holiday Season Retail Ecommerce Sales Share for Select Retailers, 2015 & 2016* (% of total holiday season ecommerce sales)

Leading Retailers for Holiday Shopping* According to US Affluent Internet Users, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)

Reasons that US Digital Buyers Purchase Products from Online Marketplaces* vs. Directly from Retailer/Brand, Q1 2017 (% of respondents)

No. 6: Google Promotes Local and Visual Search Products

Google Ad Benchmarks in North America: Product Listing Ad (PLA) and Text Ad Spending Growth, Q1 2015-Q1 2017 (% change vs. same period of prior year among campaigns analyzed by Merkle)