Holiday Shopping 2019

Mixed Results Expected Amid Tight Calendar and Economic Uncertainty

About This Report
Positive US macroeconomic conditions will contribute to the first-ever $1 trillion holiday season, but retailers facing a series of headwinds should pay attention to seven key trends that will determine their ultimate success.

Executive Summary

Despite a healthy overall consumer spending environment in 2019, the upcoming holiday season will be accompanied by economic uncertainty and a shorter timeframe. Still, there will be strong online growth rates, and overall spending will reach milestones.

How much will be spent during the 2019 holiday season?

We forecast that total US retail sales will climb 3.8% to $1.008 trillion, making it the first-ever trillion-dollar holiday season, while US retail ecommerce spending will rise 13.2% to $135.35 billion.

Which economic conditions are driving our holiday forecast?

Holiday spending growth will be driven by a consumer economy that remains robust, due to low unemployment, rising wages, a strong stock market and healthy consumer confidence. At the same time, rising tariffs and trade war tensions, stock market volatility, and dampening consumer sentiment all weigh on the season’s growth potential—while the shortened calendar between Thanksgiving and Christmas presents an additional challenge.

How big will Black Friday and Cyber Monday be for online holiday shopping?

Cyber Monday is once again expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history, with a total that could approach—or even surpass—$10 billion. Black Friday, Thanksgiving and “Cyber Tuesday” should also rank among the leading days for the season.

Which retailers will be this holiday season’s winners and losers?

The largest online and big-box retailers appear well positioned for the 2019 holiday season. With fast shipping at a premium during the compressed holiday season, retailers like Amazon have an advantage for online deliveries, while those with advanced click-and-collect operations like Walmart, Target and Best Buy will also get a leg up on the competition.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report includes our forecast for total retail, ecommerce and mcommerce spending for the 2019 holiday season, and analysis of seven key factors that will shape the season.

KEY STAT: Holiday ecommerce spending in 2019 will rise 13.2%, more than three times the rate of total retail spending growth.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. eMarketer 2019 Holiday Shopping Forecast
  3. Key Shopping Day Dynamics
  1. Seven Key Predictions for the 2019 Holiday Shopping Season
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Udayan Bose
CEO and Founder
Interviewed September 10, 2019
Steve Costanza
Senior Analytics Consultant
Interviewed July 30, 2019
Mike Farrell
Senior Director, Market and Customer Intelligence
Interviewed July 30, 2019
Rob Garf
Vice President, Industry Strategy and Insights
Interviewed July 26, 2019
Ryan Kelly
Vice President, Global Ecommerce Marketing
Interviewed September 11, 2019
Stephen Kraus
Head of Digital Insights
Interviewed August 5, 2019
Ryan Scott
Interviewed September 18, 2019
Scott Silverman
Interviewed August 27, 2019
Michelle Skupin
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications
Interviewed September 19, 2019
Amy Vener
Global Head of Retail Strategy and Marketing
Interviewed October 10, 2019

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Andrew Lipsman


Cindy Liu
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Nicole Perrin
Principal Analyst
Amy Rotondo
Director, US Research
Peter Vahle
Forecasting Analyst
Yoram Wurmser
Principal Analyst
Vincent Yip
Forecasting Analyst

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