E-commerce has seen a great boost during the holidays but the online spending might drop in January, financial analysts say.
Reports from MasterCard SpendingPulse are showing an increase in online sales of almost 20 percent in the period between Black Friday and Christmas, compared to the same period of the last year.
E-commerce is a shopping channel used all year but it spikes during the holidays when people, besides buying what they need for themselves, are also buying gifts for at least one other person. So, each online buyer doubles or triples the number of items purchased online and also the amount they are spending.
Amazon.com reports an exceptionally good holiday season, with almost three million new customers during the Christmas’ week.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans have spent on average $734 for gifts, $78 for holiday decorations and $118 for food, continuing the slight increasing trend started since 2004.
However, in the middle of this period a visible decrease in Christmas spending has been observed at the peak of the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. If in 2007 the average American was spending $678 on gifts, in 2008 they were spending $624 and in 2009 $627.
When it comes to Christmas food Americans have dropped their spending only in the first year of the crisis, from $95 in 2007 to $86 in 2008, followed by a sudden increase to $99 in 2009.
During this year’s holiday season the greatest growth was observed in furniture, which shows a great confidence of the consumers, according to Sara Quinlan, the senior VP of marketing insights for MasterCard.
Quinlan is also claiming that Americans are buying fewer clothes. She says that more and more people are dressing casual during all seasons so people no longer buy two separate wardrobes. Women apparel has increased during the holiday’s season while men’s apparel selling dropped.
Electronics sales were also doing so-so and Quinlan explains that prices are dropping as there are more features at lowest cost. More than that, there was no new hot item released during this season so people were not crowding to buy a certain thing.
An important increase in electronics consumption was scored by the Ultra HD 4K TVs but also in smartwatches and drones. According to Quinlan the increase of 7.9 percent is a very good result. Customers have been shopping for these items at both large retailers but also small ones, with under $50 million in sales.
Quinlan explains that buying from the small retailers is a good trend, as they are the ones creating more jobs. Unfortunately they can’t afford the discounts given by the giant companies and not all the consumers are willing to spend more.
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