Holiday Shopping Online

Mastercard SpendingPulse – US Online Retail Sales Grew 11% This Holiday Season

It’s been another busy holiday season this year with online sales growing 11% year-over-year (YoY) according to the latest Mastercard SpendingPulse market intelligence. Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment.

Furthermore, the data, which covers sales from November 1 to December 24 and excludes automotive sales, showed that overall retail sales grew 8.5% YoY in 2021.

“Shoppers were eager to secure their gifts ahead of the retail rush, with conversations surrounding supply chain and labor supply issues sending consumers online and to stores in droves. Consumers splurged throughout the season, with apparel and department stores experiencing strong growth as shoppers sought to put their best dressed foot forward.”

Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated

Additional Key Findings

  • Consumers shopped early: Continuing a key trend from 2020, US consumers shopped earlier than in years past, as retailers offered special promotions early and then again later in the season as shoppers raced to secure “guaranteed by Christmas” shipping offers. Looking at Mastercard’s expanded holiday season, total retail sales were up +8.6%* YOY for the 75 days between October 11 and December 24.
  • Thanksgiving weekend remained key: Black Friday marked the top spending day of the 2021 holiday season yet again. For the Thanksgiving weekend running Friday, November 26 through Sunday, November 28, shoppers drove US retail sales up +14.1% YOY. In-store sales also rebounded, increasing +16.5% YOY while eCommerce sales experienced sustained growth, up +4.9% YOY.
  • Smaller boxes had a big impact: Whether consumers were shopping for themselves or for loved ones, the Jewelry sector experienced some of the strongest YOY and YO2Y growth.
  • eCommerce sales snowballed: This holiday season, eCommerce made up 20.9% of total retail sales, up from 20.6% in 2020 and 14.6% in 2019. The channel continues to experience elevated growth as consumers enjoy the ease of holiday browsing and buying in the comfort of their own homes.
Mastercard SpendingPulse Holiday Season 2021

About Mastercard SpendingPulse

Mastercard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales across all payment types in select markets around the world. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check.

Mastercard SpendingPulse defines “US retail sales” as sales at retailers and food services merchants of all sizes. Sales activity within the services sector (for example, travel services such as airlines and lodging) are not included. Holiday spending insights are preliminary.

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Editorial Note: This post is from a Company Press Release and may have been modified for clarity.

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