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Holiday Shopping 2018

A Strong Economy Sets the Stage for a Spending Surge

About This Report
A positive US macroeconomic backdrop points to strong growth across every retail channel, but retailers should pay attention to seven key trends that will determine their ultimate success for the 2018 holiday season.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Robust consumer spending throughout the year to date suggests that the 2018 holiday season is poised for strong retail sales growth across channels. US retail sales are expected to climb 4.1%, while US retail ecommerce spending will rise 16.2%, marking some of the best growth rates in recent years.

What economic trends are boosting the holiday sales outlook?

Positive macroeconomic conditions will fuel holiday season spending. With the US stock market, labor market and consumer confidence numbers at or near multiyear highs, consumers will continue to spend more liberally through the remainder of the year. 2018 US holiday ecommerce sales are expected to grow 16.2% to $123.39 billion.

How much of holiday ecommerce spending will be mcommerce?

Ecommerce will be increasingly driven by mobile commerce, which is expected to jump 32.6% and will account for 44% of holiday ecommerce spending.

How many days are there between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2018?

The 2018 holiday season features the longest-possible calendar with a maximum 32 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This will give shoppers ample opportunity to complete more of their holiday shopping online, with time to receive their orders before Christmas.

What are the heaviest shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Key promotional days will be as important as ever in shaping the holiday season. Cyber Monday will once again be the heaviest online shopping day of the year, while Thanksgiving and Black Friday will continue to grow in importance as leading online shopping days.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report includes our forecast for total retail, ecommerce and mcommerce spending for the 2018 holiday season and analysis of seven key trends that retailers should pay attention to.

KEY STAT: 2018 US holiday ecommerce sales are expected to grow 16.2% to $123.39 billion.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

12expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. eMarketer’s 2018 Holiday Retail Forecast
  3. Top Online Retailers
  4. Key Shopping Day Dynamics
  1. Seven Key Trends for the 2018 Holiday Season
  2. Key Takeaways for Marketers
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Jaime Bettencourt
Mood Media
Senior Vice President, Premier Sales and Account Management
Interviewed July 20, 2018
Louis DeJianne
Director, Retail Ecommerce Strategy
Interviewed July 24, 2018
Judy Ransford
Hickory Farms
Interviewed July 20, 2018
Udayan Bose
CEO and Founder
Interviewed July 17, 2018
Imma Calvo
Industry Director of Performance
Interviewed September 7, 2018
Steve Costanza
Senior Analytics Consultant, Enterprise Customer Strategy
Interviewed September 7, 2018
Dawn Erksa
The Home Depot
Senior Director, Marketing
Interviewed September 14, 2018
Jaysen Gillespie
Vice President, Head of Analytics and Data Science
Interviewed August 14, 2018
Taylor Schreiner
Director, Adobe Digital Insights
Interviewed July 18, 2018
Danielle Smith
Senior Vice President, Managing Director, East
Interviewed September 4, 2018
Marissa Tarleton
Interviewed July 25, 2018
Ryan Williams
Head of Client Insights, Retail, Travel and CPG
Interviewed August 3, 2018


Andrew Lipsman


Caroline Cakebread
Junior Analyst
Rebecca Chadwick
Senior Researcher
Shelleen Shum
Director, Forecasting
Yoram Wurmser
Principal Analyst
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