US Holiday Shopping Preview 2017: Recapping 2016, and Looking Ahead to This Season - eMarketer
« Return to Mobile Website

Newsletters Sign-Up

Schedule a Demo

Does My Company Subscribe?

US Holiday Shopping Preview 2017: Recapping 2016, and Looking Ahead to This Season

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: March 06, 2017

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

Executive Summary

US retail ecommerce sales jumped 17.8% during the 2016 holiday season, a phenomenal rate that helped push total retail sales up 4.8%. For the 2017 holiday season, eMarketer expects ecommerce to climb 15.8%, while total retail growth will slow to 2.0%.

  • Ecommerce accounted for a record 10.6% of total retail sales in the US during the 2016 holiday season.
  • Falling foot traffic continues to plague traditional retailers. According to one study, foot traffic was down 12.3% in November and December 2016.
  • Mobile commerce continued to expand in 2016. comScore Inc. estimated that US holiday season retail ecommerce sales on its platform increased 44% last year, accounting for 21% of total ecommerce for Q4 2016. Other providers reported an even higher mobile share of sales.
  • The core holiday season began even earlier in 2016, with major Black Friday sales starting the week before Thanksgiving. The online season also ran closer to Christmas, with both consumers and retailers more confident in the ability to have products shipped in time.
  • The convergence between physical and online shopping continued during the 2016 holiday season, with more ads driving foot traffic and more online services enhancing the in-store experience.
  • Amazon continues to dominate the ecommerce landscape. According to one study, 38.0% of US retail ecommerce sales during the 2016 holiday season took place on Amazon, with the percentage increasing as the season progressed.

"The gap between holiday season ecommerce sales growth and total retail sales growth in the US was 13 percentage points in 2016, down 1 percentage point from 2015."

Table of Contents

Recapping 2016: Explosive Ecommerce Growth Propels a Moderately Strong Retail Holiday Season

This content is available to eMarketer PRO customers only. Request a live demo of PRO today to see what you can gain with access.

Request a demo today

Holiday 2017 Forecast

This content is available to eMarketer PRO customers only. Request a live demo of PRO today to see what you can gain with access.

Request a demo today

Convergence of Offline and Online Commerce

This content is available to eMarketer PRO customers only. Request a live demo of PRO today to see what you can gain with access.

Request a demo today

Amazon Continues to Consolidate Its Ecommerce Lead

This content is available to eMarketer PRO customers only. Request a live demo of PRO today to see what you can gain with access.

Request a demo today

34 charts are included in the full report:

US Holiday Shopping Preview 2017: Recapping 2016, and Looking Ahead to This Season

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

Recapping 2016: Explosive Ecommerce Growth Propels a Moderately Strong Retail Holiday Season

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

Total Retail Had the Best Season Since 2011

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

US Holiday Season Retail Sales Growth for Select Categories, In-Store vs. Ecommerce, Oct 29, 2016-Jan 2, 2017 (% change vs. same period of prior year)

US Internet Users Who Plan to Give vs. Would Like to Receive Gifts of Experience* During the Holiday Season, 2015 & 2016 (% of respondents)

US Retail Sales Metric Growth, April-Dec 2016 (% change vs. same period of prior year)

Ecommerce Had a Spectacular Holiday Season

US Retail Ecommerce Holiday Season Sales, 2013-2017

Comparative Estimates: US Holiday Season Retail Ecommerce Sales, 2016 (billions and % change vs. prior year)

Locations/Channels Where US Internet Users Purchase Holiday Gifts, Dec 2016 (% of respondents)

Mobile Shines Once Again

US Holiday Season* Retail Ecommerce Sales, by Device, 2015 & 2016 (billions and % change)

US Retail Mcommerce Sales, 2015-2021 (billions, % change, % of retail ecommerce sales and % of total retail sales)

US Smartphone Retail Mcommerce Sales, 2015-2021 (billions, % change and % of total retail mcommerce sales)

US Tablet Retail Mcommerce Sales, 2015-2021 (billions, % change and % of total retail mcommerce sales)

US Holiday Season* Retail Ecommerce Traffic Share, by Device, 2015 & 2016 (% of total)

US Holiday Season Desktop vs. Mobile Traffic Share for Select Retailers, Oct 30-Dec 31, 2016 (% of total traffic)

Comparative Estimates: US Mcommerce Holiday Season Sales Share, by Shopping Day, 2016 (% of total ecommerce sales)

Timing of Season

Comparative Estimates: US Retail Ecommerce Holiday Season Sales Growth, by Shopping Day, 2016 (billions and % change vs. prior year)

US Cyber Week Retail Ecommerce Traffic Share, by Day, 2016 (% of total)

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

US Internet Users Who Plan to Shop for After-Christmas Sales, by Channel, Dec 2016 (% of respondents)

Holiday 2017 Forecast

US Retail and Retail Ecommerce* Holiday Season Sales, 2013-2017

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

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

US Retail Ecommerce Sales, 2015-2021 (billions, % change and % of total retail sales)

US Retail Sales, by Segment, 2015-2021

Convergence of Offline and Online Commerce

Ways in Which US Millennial Internet Users Use Mobile Devices When Holiday Shopping In-Store, Dec 2016 (% of respondents)

US Mobile Paid Search Benchmarks: Click Share, by Device, Q4 2012-Q4 2016 (% of total among campaigns analyzed by Merkle)

Brick-and-Mortar Brand Google Maps Ad* Benchmarks in North America: Click Share, by Device, Q4 2016 (% of total among campaigns analyzed by Merkle)

Buy Online for Pickup In-Store (BOPUS)

Level of Satisfaction with In-Store Pick-Up Capabilities During Cyber Weekend* According to US Smartphone Users, Nov 2016 (% of respondents)

US Digital Buyers' Shipping/Delivery Preferences During the Holiday Season vs. Rest of the Year, Nov 2016 (% of respondents)

Timeframe When US Smartphone Owners First Bought Online and Picked Up In-Store, Nov 2016 (% of respondents)

Retailers Where US Smartphone Owners Have Bought Online and Picked Up In-Store During the Holiday Season*, Nov 2016 (% of respondents)

Amazon Continues to Consolidate Its Ecommerce Lead

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

Share of Toys for Which Select US Retailers Offer the Lowest* Price on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Nov 23-29, 2016 (% of toys analyzed by Ugam)

Primary Reason that US Amazon Buyers Shop via Amazon, Nov 2016 (% of respondents)