Ecommerce sales grew by 11% from November 1 through December 24 year-over-year and overall sales by 8.5%, excluding automotive. That's the highest growth rates seen over the past 17 years, according to a Mastercard Spending Pulse report released on Sunday.
In-store sales increased by 8.1% YoY, according to the preliminary report.
Online sales leaped by 61.4% over the same period in 2019.
Ecommerce now constitutes 20.9% of total retail sales, up from 20.6% in 2020 and 14.6% in 2019. It's an invaluable chance for brands to grow their email lists and to cross-sell and upsell throughout the customer journey.
Many consumers shopped early, contributing to 8.6% overall growth YoY for the 75 days between Oct. 11 and Dec. 24.
“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,” says Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO-Chairman of Saks Incorporated.
Sadove adds: “Consumers splurged throughout the season, with apparel and department stores experiencing strong growth as shoppers sought to put their best-dressed foot forward.”
Black Friday was the top consumer spending day, and overall retail sales surged by 14.1% from that day through Sunday.
In-store sales recovered, showing 16.5% growth YoY and ecommerce 4.9%.
“Coupled with a strong Thanksgiving weekend, retailers continue to see healthy consumer spending this holiday season,” says Sadove.
In an earlier analysis, Mastercard SpendingPulse reported an 8,7% boost in ecommerce sales on Cyber Monday.
Apparel saw the biggest sales growth this season: 47.3% over 2020. It grew by 29% over 2019.
Jewelry was next, with a 32% boost over 2020 and 26.2% over 2019.
Electronics sales rose by 16.2% over 2020 and by 19.8% versus 2019.
Department-store sales went up by 21.2% over 2020 and by 11% over 2019.
Mastercard SpendingPulse measures national retail sales across all payment types, covering retail and food services.