US Holiday Shopping Preview 2016: Absorbing the Lessons of 2015 - eMarketer

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US Holiday Shopping Preview 2016: Absorbing the Lessons of 2015

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: March 30, 2016

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

Executive Summary

US retail ecommerce sales during the 2015 holiday season, which comprises November and December, lived up to lofty expectations, but overall retail sales fell short of forecasts. Falling oil prices weakened overall retail sales, but so did changing consumer buying patterns. Looking forward to the 2016 holiday season, eMarketer expects another strong season for ecommerce and a tepid one for total retail sales.

  • Total US retail sales grew 1.5% during Q4 2015, although retail sales excluding sales in gas stations increased 3.7%.
  • Two big factors played an outsized role in ecommerce sales increasing 13.4% during the 2015 holiday season: Amazon and smartphone commerce.
  • Retail sales on smartphones jumped 95.8% during 2015, and are forecast to grow 49.9% in 2016.
  • One in five US internet users start their holiday shopping during the summer. However, the bulk of shopping begins on Thanksgiving Day, which saw high mcommerce traffic and sales.
  • Fulfillment options continue to diversify, led by the growth in buying online and then picking up at a brick-and-mortar store. Some 32% of consumers used this option during the holidays, according to one study.

"The gap between holiday season ecommerce sales growth and total retail sales growth was 11.7 percentage points in 2015, the largest such gap since 2010."

Table of Contents

Holiday 2015: Ecommerce and Mcommerce Thrive

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eMarketer’s 2016 Forecast

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The Ecommerce Season Lengthens

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Fulfillment Options Continue to Expand

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Apps vs. Browsers During the Holidays

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44 charts are included in the full report:

US Holiday Shopping Preview 2016: Absorbing the Lessons of 2015

US Retail and Retail Ecommerce* Holiday Season Sales Growth, 2010-2016 (% change)

Holiday 2015: Ecommerce and Mcommerce Thrive

US Retail and Retail Ecommerce* Holiday Season Sales Growth, 2010-2016 (% change)

US Retail Ecommerce Holiday Season Sales, 2012-2016

What Happened to Retail Overall?

US Retail Sales, by Segment, Q1-Q4 2015 (trillions and % change vs. same quarter of prior year)

US Median Household Income, 2007-2014

US Internet Users Who Plan to Give vs. Would Like to Receive Experiences* as a Gift During the Holiday Season, by Age, Dec 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

US Food Services and Drinking Places Sales, by Time Period, 2014 & 2015 (billions and % change vs. same period of prior year)

Drivers of Ecommerce Growth During the Holidays

US Smartphone Retail Mcommerce Sales, 2014-2020 (billions, % change and % of total retail mcommerce sales)

US Retail Mcommerce Sales, 2014-2020

US Holiday Season Retail Ecommerce Sales, by Device, 2014 & 2015 (billions and % change)

US Mobile Shoppers, by Device, 2014-2020

US Mobile Buyers, by Device, 2014-2020

US Holiday Season Retail Ecommerce Metrics, by Device, Nov-Dec 2014

US Holiday Season* Retail Ecommerce Metrics, by Device, Nov-Dec 2015

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

US Holiday Season* Retail Mcommerce Traffic vs. Sales Share, by Device, 2014 & 2015 (% of total holiday season* ecommerce sales and traffic)

US Tablet Retail Mcommerce Sales, 2014-2020 (billions, % change and % of total retail mcommerce sales)

Devices Used to Conduct Holiday Shopping Among US Digital Shoppers, by Age, Oct 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

Mcommerce Transaction Share Among US Digital Retailers, by Category, Q4 2014 & Q4 2015 (% of total ecommerce transactions)

Top 15 US Retail Websites, Ranked by Visit Share, Dec 2015 (% of total)

Primary Location/Channel Where US Internet Users Begin Holiday Shopping When They Do Not Have a Specific Gift in Mind, Dec 2015 (% of respondents)

Digital Retailer Where US Internet Users Plan to Conduct Most of Their Holiday Shopping, Nov 2015 (% of respondents)

eMarketer’s 2016 Forecast

US Retail Ecommerce Sales, 2014-2020 (billions, % change and % of total retail sales)

US Retail Sales, by Segment, 2014-2019 (billions and % change)

US Retail Sales, 2014-2020 (trillions and % change)

US Retail and Retail Ecommerce* Annual Sales Increases, 2014-2019 (billions and % of total)

US Retail Ecommerce Sales, Q1 2015-Q4 2016 (billions and % change vs. same quarter of prior year)

US Retail Sales, Q1 2015-Q4 2016 (trillions and % change vs. same quarter of prior year)

US Retail Mcommerce Sales, by Device, 2014-2020 (billions, % change and % of total)

US Smartphone Buyers and Penetration, 2014-2020 (millions and % of digital buyers)

Holiday 2016

US Retail and Retail Ecommerce* Holiday Season Sales, 2012-2016

The Ecommerce Season Lengthens

Timeframe in Which US Internet Users Begin Planning for Christmas vs. Hanukkah Shopping, Oct 2015 (% of respondents)

Amount of Holiday Shopping that US Internet Users Have Already Completed, Nov 2015 (% of respondents)

US Holiday Season Retail Sales Growth, by Shopping Period, 2014 & 2015 (% change vs. same period of prior year)

Comparative Estimates: US Retail Ecommerce Holiday Season Sales Growth, by Shopping Day, 2015 (billions and % change vs. prior year)

Top 10 US Holiday Season Digital Shopping Days, Ranked by Visits, Dec 2015 (millions)

Comparative Estimates: US Mcommerce Holiday Season Sales Share, by Shopping Day, 2015 (% of total ecommerce sales)

Fulfillment Options Continue to Expand

US Internet Users Who Believe that It Is Important that Digital Retailers Offer Same-Day Delivery for Holiday Purchases, Nov 2015 (% of respondents)

Buy Online for Pickup In-Store (BOPUS)

US Internet Users Who Plan to Purchase Products Digitally and Pick Up In-Store During the Holiday Season, by Age, Oct 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

Reasons that US Internet Users Purchase Products Digitally and Pick Up In-Store, Sep 2015 (% of respondents)

Buy Online/Pick Up In-Store Share of US Retail Ecommerce Sales, 2015 (% of total retail ecommerce sales)

Returns

Preferred Location/Channel for Conducting Holiday Gift Returns According to US Internet Users, Dec 2015 (% of respondents)

Apps vs. Browsers During the Holidays

US Smartphone/Tablet Users Who Prefer to Conduct Holiday Shopping via Mobile App vs. Browser, Jan 2016 (% of respondents)

Mobile App vs. Browser Share of Retail Mcommerce Transactions Worldwide, Q4 2015 (% of total)

App vs. Browser Share of Time Spent Accessing the Leading* US Retail Sites via Mobile Device, Sep 2015 (% of total)