US ecommerce back-to-school and holiday growth trends are usually pretty similar, but this year, growth will diverge.
The trend: US ecommerce back-to-school and holiday spending growth were within 1 percentage point of each other in both 2020 and 2021, and closer to 4 percentage points apart in 2022, during a holiday season impacted by inflation, supply chain issues, and geopolitical concerns.
This year, the two seasons won’t be as tightly aligned.
Report card: Back-to-school projections accounting for both ecommerce and in-store were a mixed bag this year, with the National Retail Federation (NRF) projecting growth of 12.5%, our own forecast projecting growth of 2.9%, and Deloitte projecting a 10.0% dip in back-to-school spending.
A tight Christmas? This year’s holiday season will be bigger than last year’s.
Price watch: Inflation likely won’t detract from holiday sales the way it did last year, when the Consumer Price Index increased by as much as 7.7% YoY. Easing inflation growth helped early back-to-school sales this year, according to US Census Bureau data reported by Forbes. Barring another major economic event, consumers should be less affected by skyrocketing prices.
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