Get ready for the first-ever trillion-dollar shopping season

By Mark Sullivan

Prepare to get grabbed by the wallet this holiday season.

U.S. consumers, flushed with consumer confidence and holiday spirit, will spend more than a trillion bucks ($1,002.12 trillion to be exact) on holiday shopping by the time the clock strikes midnight on December 31, eMarketer says. That’s a 5.8% increase over last year’s total, and the first time ever that sales have topped the $1 trillion benchmark.

We continue to buy more of our holiday stuff online. E-commerce sales in the U.S. will jump 16.6% to $123.7 billion this year–accounting for 12.3% of total holiday retail sales. Amazon will get almost half of that spend (48%), or $252.08 billion (Deyyyam!). eMarketer says Amazon now represents 4.7% of all retail sales in the U.S.

Americans will use their smartphones and tablets to buy $54.2 billion worth of stuff between November 1 and December 31 this year, eMarketer says.

For full-year 2018, eMarketer says total U.S. retail sales will grow 5.5% to $5.35 trillion. E-commerce sales this year will grow 16% to $525.69 billion.

“Strong spending this holiday season will be driven by low unemployment, strong income growth, and high consumer confidence,” said eMarketer spokesman Douglas Clark. “Brick-and-mortar spending will be especially high, as retailers lure in shoppers with remodeled stores and options to buy online and pick up in-store.”

After Amazon, eBay is the second largest e-commerce player but, eMarketer says, it “has stagnant growth and is losing share.” It’ll show $37.8 billion in online sales by year end, but its overall share will drop to 7.2%.

Walmart recently overtook Apple as the No. 3 online retailer in the U.S. with 4% of all sales this year. Walmart’s e-commerce business will grow 39.4% to reach $20.91 billion, eMarketer says.


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