we Retail It rose 3.0% during the expanded holiday shopping season this year from October 11 to December 24, according to a report MasterCard Corporation Saturday, buoyed by a pandemic-driven shift toward online shopping.
US e-commerce sales jumped 49% in this year’s holiday shopping season, according to a Mastercard SpendingPulse report, underscoring the role of the COVID-19 pandemic in transforming customers’ shopping habits.
The holiday shopping season can account for the majority of annual sales for some retailers, but the health crisis has meant that many retailers including Walmart Inc and Target Corp, who have faced capacity restrictions at some stores, rolled out their promotions early.
Holiday e-commerce sales accounted for 19.7% of all retail sales this year, according to MasterCard data.
The National Retail Federation estimated that the number of people who only shop online jumped 44% over the Thanksgiving weekend, with few crowds at many of the stores.
People who spend more time at home due to work from home and remote learning policies have increased demand for home decor and home improvement products, with retail sales in the furniture and home furnishing category jumping 16.2% according to the report.
The report said electronics and home appliances also rose 6% during the period, as declines in spending on dining out, travel and entertainment encouraged shoppers to make other purchases.
The SpendingPulse report tracks spending by combining sales activity in the Mastercard payments network with cash estimates and other forms of payment but excludes auto sales.