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US Holiday Ecommerce Sales Will Surge 35.8% to $190.47 Billion, Offsetting Brick-and-Mortar Declines

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Will Both Surpass $10 Billion in Ecommerce Sales 


Retailers are bracing for a softer holiday season due to the pandemicThey will see, however, a major shift to ecommerce this holiday season. US consumers will spend $190.47 billion this year on holiday ecommerce purchases, up 35.8% and representing an incremental $50.19 billion in sales vs. 2019. Instore holiday sales will decline by 4.7% to $822.79 billion. But online gains will make up for these losses, resulting in total holiday season sales growing by 0.9% to $1.013 trillion. (Note: We define holiday season sales as those occurring in November and December.)  

“This holiday season will see a continuation of the channel shift to ecommerce, as shoppers look to avoid crowds and minimize their number of in-person shopping trips,” said Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. “With these huge gains expected, there’s growing concern around the potential for ‘shippageddon,’ where high package volumes overwhelm logistics capacity and result in deliveries arriving after Christmas. We believe that shoppers will pull forward more of their purchases than they typically do and shift ecommerce buying to click-and-collect orders over the last 10 days of the season to prevent these scenarios.”  

The Cyber Five promotional period—Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday—will continue gaining share of the total holiday ecommerce pie, rising slightly this year to capture 20.5%. We forecast that Cyber Five ecommerce sales in the US will bring in $39.10 billion in 2020, up 39.6% from 2019. 

Within the Cyber Five period, there will be some recordbreaking days. It begins with Thanksgiving, which we forecast will see a dramatic increase in sales of 49.5%, reaching $6.18 billion. With most bigbox retailers keeping their doors closed on Thanksgiving, we anticipate shopping will move to mobile, making it the ultimate day for “couch commerce.” Black Friday will experience its first-ever $10 billion spending day, rising 39.4% year over year. The Cyber Five period will be capped off with record-setting sales on Cyber Monday, which we forecast will rise 38.3% to $12.89 billiononce again landing as the top online spending day of the year.   



eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms, and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers, and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular reevaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends, and economic changes.  


About Insider Intelligence 
Formed in 2020 from the combination of eMarketer and Business Insider Intelligence (BII), Insider Intelligence aims to be the world’s leading research service focused on digital transformation. Insider Intelligence enables thousands of global industry leaders to understand the critical trends and developments affecting their business in the short and long term. Each year, Insider Intelligence produces nearly 300 reports, 7,000 charts, 1,500 newsletters, and 200 forecasts across the Advertising & Marketing, Consumer Demographics, Social Media, Video, Mobile, Ecommerce & Retail, Telecoms & Technology, Financial Services, and Digital Health industries. Insider Intelligence is owned by European media giant Axel Springer S.E. 

Posted on October 28, 2020.