U.S. retail sales rose 3% during this year’s expanded holiday shopping season from Oct. 11 to Dec. 24, a report by Mastercard Inc said on Saturday, powered by a pandemic-driven shift toward online shopping.
U.S. ecommerce sales jumped 49% in this year’s holiday shopping season, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse report, underscoring the COVID-19 pandemic’s role in transforming customers’ shopping habits.
Holiday e-commerce sales made up 19.7% of total retail sales this year, the data showed, noting that options such as buy online and pick-up-in-store, contactless technologies were key for retailers.
The holiday shopping season can account for the majority of certain retailers’ annual sales, but the health crisis meant several retailers including Walmart Inc and Target Corp , faced with capacity constraints in certain stores, rolled out their holiday promotions early.
E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc also pushed back its annual summer promotional event to October, marking a longer-than-ever holiday season for retailers who missed out on sales for several weeks during the lockdowns earlier this year.