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MasterCard: US Ecommerce Sales Soars Amid the Negative News of South Africa-linked Covid-19 Variant

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Ecommerce sales
  • Online shopping soars by 8.5%
  • Consumers shopped earlier than in previous years (November 1 to December 24)
  • Black Friday/Thanksgiving weekend drove the US retail sales
  • The apparel, jewelry, and department stores topped the eCommerce sales

MasterCard SpendingPulse’s positive update during the festive season indicated that the “US retail sales rose by 8.5% during this year’s holiday shopping season from November 1 to December 24.” According to the global payment network, the 8.5% holiday retail sales were “powered by soaring eCommerce sales.”

In fact, the eCommerce sales alone rose by 11% compared to 2020, thus underscoring the role of the Covid-19 pandemic influence on customers’ shopping habits. Steve Sadove, MasterCard’s Senior Advisor, said that “Shoppers were eager to secure their gifts ahead of the retail rush, with conversations surrounding supply chain and labor supply issues sending customers online and to stores in droves.”

The news continued to say that “Holiday eCommerce sales made up 20.9% of total retail sales this year, the data showed, noting that the sector continues to see growth as consumers enjoy the ease of browsing and buying in the comfort of their homes.” This was slightly higher than 20.6% recorded in 2020 and 14.6% in 2019.

Apparel sales

The early retails’ special promotions drove consumers to the online and physical stores in numbers. Further, the late-season offers attracted shoppers keen on securing “guaranteed by Christmas” shipping offers. So the retail sales between October 11 and December 24 rose by 8.6%* YOY.

The Black Friday that appeared during the Thanksgiving weekend that ran from Friday, November 26 to Sunday, November 28, marked the top spending period in the 2021 holiday season. So Americans spent their Thanksgiving weekend shopping, thus driving the US retail sales high by up to +14.1% YOY. While eCommerce sustained its growth of +4.9% YOY, the in-store sales rebounded and went up by +16.5%

The jewelry sector recorded the strongest YOY growth compared to the previous. This was because shoppers bought gifts for their loved ones or themselves. Apparel and department stores also experienced a boom as “shoppers sought to put their best-dressed foot forward.” Says Sadove.

According to MasterCard SpendingPulse, the ease of browsing for holiday offers and buying from the comfort of their homes have contributed to this elevated growth of holiday eCommerce sales in 2021.

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