Holiday Shopping by the Numbers: 26 Stats from 2018

Sure, it’s June, but it’s also time to be thinking about your strategy for the 2019 holiday shopping season. To get started, how about taking a look at last year’s U.S. holiday shopping results? Here are 26 compelling stats to learn from, and perhaps be inspired by:

  1. Holiday spending in the United States totaled $707.5 billion last year, an increase of 2.9 percent over the same period in 2017.
  2. An estimated 165.8 million Americans shopped in the critical period between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.
  3. Black Friday was the most popular shopping day of the 2018 Thanksgiving weekend, with 116 million Americans saying they planned to shop that day.
  4. The most popular day to shop online in 2018 was Cyber Monday, cited by 67.4 million shoppers, followed by Black Friday with 65.2 million shoppers.
  5. Cyber Monday 2018 was the heaviest online spending day in U.S. history, with a reported outlay of $7.87 billion.
  6. 14.8 million online transactions were processed on Black Friday last year and 13.7 million online transactions were processed on Thanksgiving Day.
  7. The most popular day for in-store shopping was Black Friday, when more than 67 million shoppers ventured out, followed by Small Business Saturday with 47.4 million in-store shoppers.
  8. 76 million Americans planned to shop on Cyber Monday last year, either in stores or online.
  9. Last year, consumers spent $6.2 billion on Black Friday and $3.7 billion on Thanksgiving Day. That represented a 19.7% increase over 2017.
  10. Online holiday spending in the U.S. increased by 16.5 percent between 2017 and 2018.
  11. Average per-person spending was $313.29 during last year’s Thanksgiving weekend.
  12. The biggest spenders over the 2018 holiday weekend in the U.S. were older millennials and Gen Xers, who spent an average of $413.05.
  13. The number of consumers who shopped both online and in stores was up nearly 40 percent over the same period in 2017.
  14. Multichannel shoppers (online and in stores) outspent single-channel shoppers by up to $93 on average.
  15. Email accounted for 24 percent of sales during the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday period.
  16. 66 percent of smartphone owners used their mobile devices to make holiday purchasing decisions in 2018, up from 63 percent in 2017.
  17. Smartphone use accounted for the majority of digital shopping traffic for the first time in the 2018 holiday season with 51% of visits, while contributing 31% of e-commerce sales.
  18.  38% of Thanksgiving Day sales were made via smartphone – well ahead of both Black Friday (33%) and Cyber Monday (28%).
  19. Mobile devices drove an estimated 72 percent of all traffic and 54 percent of all orders on Christmas Eve.
  20. Top purchases over the 2018 Thanksgiving weekend included apparel (57 percent of those surveyed), toys (34 percent), books and video games (29 percent), electronics (26 percent) and gift cards (20 percent).
  21. Four out of ten consumers reported that they started their holiday shopping before November 1.
  22. Six of ten respondents told the National Retail Federation last year that they like to receive gift cards as holiday gifts.
  23. Credit cards were the most popular form of payment, used by 46% of shoppers, followed by debit cards (36%), cash (16%), and check (2%).
  24. No surprise: Younger shoppers proved more likely than older ones to use social platforms to track sales and promotion during their 2018 holiday shopping. 
  25. About 40 percent of U.S. holiday sales were on Amazon.
  26. 69 percent of consumers are more likely to finance online purchases during the holiday season.