Holiday 2021 Spending Projections & Consumer Trends

Nov 16, 2021 | Industry Updates

Are you and your advertisers ready for the challenges that this holiday season will bring? Understanding this season’s trends and obstacles will help you get a head start on making your marketing strategy effective. Read what eMarketer’s Insider Intelligence Report has to say to learn how to set your advertisers up for a happy holiday!


All statistics and trends were found in eMarketer’s US Holiday Shopping 2021 Report.

Spending Projections 

  • Spending is projected to increase!
      • Total US sales increase of 9 percent to $1.147 trillion
      • Brick & mortar retail spending will increase by 7.9 percent, totaling $935.79 billion
      • Ecommerce sales will grow 14.4 percent to $211.66 billion → Ecommerce will account for 18.4 percent of total retail sales!
  • The Cyber Five will dominate!
        • Thanksgiving will be the third-largest online spending day in US history. Shoppers will take advantage of early Black Friday deals and get their shopping done on their smartphones while gathered with family. Many brick-and-mortar stores will be closed this Thanksgiving to prepare for Black Friday, so Thanksgiving sales are online this year.
          • We will see a 20.7% increase from last year, totaling $6.10 billion
    • Black Friday will rank second in online spending.
        • Sales are predicted to increase 15.8% from last year, bringing in $10.42 billion
        • Brick and mortar shopping will be a bigger factor on Black Friday after the pandemic halted the tradition in 2020.
            • People will return to their crowd-storming habits to make their holiday purchases, but a large online shopping increase will pop up right before the event to snag some of the best deals.
    • Cyber Monday will be the number one online spending day in US history!
        • Increasing 12.4% from last year, a whopping $12.12 billion will be spent!


Consumer Behavior Trends 

  • Brick and mortar shopping is back!
      • As more vaccinated consumers are stepping out of their homes, we will see an increase in in-store purchases.
  • Ecommerce is still growing!
        • Online sales will still see increases, despite the growth of brick-and-mortar shopping. Though this year’s growth rate is half of last year’s, we will see a 14.4% increase to a total of $211.66 billion.
        • Record-setting: This is the first time that US holiday eCommerce sales will total over $200 billion!
  • Beauty and apparel categories will see a rebound this season as demand for workwear and event wear increases. People are upgrading their fashions and using their vaccinated status to enjoy shopping as a social event. Shopping will increase in malls and department stores!
      • Apparel and accessories → 25.5% increase
      • Beauty → 12.1% increase
  • Sales in computers and consumer electronics will be up 12.5%.
  • Some shoppers may cut back on retail purchases to afford post-pandemic travel.
    • Making plans to see family and friends this year is possible for many people that were stuck inside in 2020. Spending holiday funds on travels and experiences may take priority for consumers.


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