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Apparel, electronics will help drive up holiday sales

Online holiday shopping
Online holiday spending is expected to rise 5% this year.

An increase in apparel and electronics purchases will contribute to overall growth in digital holiday spending.

New data analysis from commerce protection provider Signifyd projects a year-over-year increase of 5% in 2023 U.S. holiday e-commerce sales. This growth will be supported by a strong holiday season for apparel and electronics, with year-over-year online sales in the fourth quarter projected to rise by 9% and 8%, respectively.

Sporting goods is projected to see a 5% increase compared to the previous year, while the health and beauty and home goods categories will both fall 5% below their 2022 fourth-quarter digital sales.

E-commerce spending over the “Cyber Five” weekend (Thanksgiving through Black Friday and Cyber Monday) is projected to be 4% higher than in 2022. However, Signfiyd’s prediction sees only apparel having a breakout Cyber Five, with digital sales up 10% over the same period in 2022.

Meanwhile, electronics will see 1% year-over-year growth during Cyber Five, while online sales in sporting goods and home goods will fall 1% below 2022 levels and health and beauty will be down 2%.

Consumers will continue to get an early jump on holiday shopping, according to the study, with e-commerce sales rising by 7% in October over the same month in 2022. November online sales will increase by 5% year-over-year before the holiday frenzy cools a bit, according to Signifyd, with digital sales increasing by only 3% year-over-year in December.

Adobe, Deloitte offer holiday e-commerce forecasts

This analysis roughly corresponds with the recent Adobe online shopping forecast for the 2023 holiday season, covering the period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2023. U.S. online holiday sales will hit $221.8 billion, representing 4.8% growth year-over-year, according to Adobe.

Deloitte is more optimistic. According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast, holiday online sales will grow 10.3% to 12.8% year-over-year, reaching between $278 billion and $284 billion this season.

Signifyd sees online holiday joy

“They’re perhaps underwhelming from a year-over-year perspective when compared to the double-digit, year-over-year growth from seasons past,” said Killough, who conducted Signifyd’s analysis. “But we’re building off a higher foundation. We haven’t seen a decline in year-over-year sales since the onset of COVID-19. We’ve simply seen a slowing in growth.”

“I see that there is going to be some pretty modest growth, but with some real opportunity for retailers depending on their categories and how well they’re able to execute,” Signifyd chief customer officer J. Bennett. “Retailers who are able to get in front of their customers when they want to be sold to and deliver value in a beautiful experience can look forward to significant success this season.”

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