Online Holiday Sales Expected to Grow as much as 21%

Sep 21 2017

This article first published here.

E-commerce sales for the 2017 holiday season are projected to grow 18%-21% compared with the 2016 holiday season, with online sales reaching $111 billion to $114 billion, according to the just-released Deloitte annual holiday forecast.

Deloitte, which defines the holiday season as the three-month period of November through January, attributes this large increase to several factors, including growth in consumers’ personal income. Disposable income for the 2017 holiday season is predicted to increase 3.8% to 4.2% compared with a 2% increase in disposable income during the same time last year. Higher consumer confidence, a strong labor market and a low personal savings rate all contribute to the uptick in holiday sales, says Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s senior U.S. economist.

Last year, e-commerce holiday sales grew 14.3% year over year to $93.8 billion, according to Deloitte. That was short of the consulting firm’s 17%-19% projections for the 2016 holiday season.

“We continue to see e-commerce growth accelerate as more people head online, but that’s not to say brick-and-mortar isn’t growing as well,” says Rod Sides, vice chairman and U.S. leader of retail at Deloitte LLP.

Deloitte forecasts total retail holiday sales, including e-commerce, to increase 4.0% to 4.5% over last season, reaching $1.04 trillion to $1.05 trillion for the 2017 holiday season. The consultancy cites U.S. Commerce Department data that pegs total retail sales for holiday 2016 at $1.0 trillion.