Both online and brick-and-mortar retailers announced record sales for holiday spending, buoyed by low gas prices, decreasing unemployment and increased consumer confidence. Sales on the last Saturday before Christmas (known commonly as Super Saturday) increased by .5% this year, according to ShopperTrak. In addition, MasterCard reported an increase of 5.5% in retail sales (excluding automotive sales) from Black Friday up to Christmas Eve.
“Lower unemployment rates and gas prices, as well as more manageable weather have attributed to the season’s growth. We expect to see this continue as we head into 2015,” said ShopperTrak Founder Bill Martin.
This holiday season, mobile accounted for 13% of all holiday spending, according to ComScore Inc. Amazon said that 60% of all its customers during that time purchased an item on a mobile device or through its app, a slight increase from the “more than half” that purchased items through mobile applications last year. Compared to 2013, shopping volume on Amazon’s native app, though, more than doubled.
According to ComScore, online shopping was expected to reach $61 billion from November to December, an increase of 16% compared to last year. Amazon.com’s sales rose 20% between Black Friday and Super Saturday, compared to 14% growth for the industry, according to ChannelAdvisor Corp.
In addition, delivery delays that plagued holiday purchases last year were avoided thanks to a combination of aggressive pre-Thanksgiving marketing, increased early spending and improvements made by Amazon and UPS through beefed-up infrastructures and increased hiring. “Shoppers were aware of last year’s problems, and the e-commerce companies and shipping companies were prepared,” Jarrett Streebin, chief executive officer of EasyPost, told Bloomberg News.