US ecommerce back-to-school and holiday growth trends are usually pretty similar, but this year, growth will diverge.
The trend: US ecommerce back-to-school and holiday spending growth were within 1 percentage point of each other in both 2020 and 2021, and closer to 4 percentage points apart in 2022, during a holiday season impacted by inflation, supply chain issues, and geopolitical concerns.
This year, the two seasons won’t be as tightly aligned.
Report card: Back-to-school projections accounting for both ecommerce and in-store were a mixed bag this year, with the National Retail Federation (NRF) projecting growth of 12.5%, our own forecast projecting growth of 2.9%, and Deloitte projecting a 10.0% dip in back-to-school spending.
A tight Christmas? This year’s holiday season will be bigger than last year’s.
Price watch: Inflation likely won’t detract from holiday sales the way it did last year, when the Consumer Price Index increased by as much as 7.7% YoY. Easing inflation growth helped early back-to-school sales this year, according to US Census Bureau data reported by Forbes. Barring another major economic event, consumers should be less affected by skyrocketing prices.
This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.
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