Man in office working on a laptop to prepare shipment

2020 holiday spending and trends for 2021

2020 holiday spending and trends for 2021

Peak season 2020

The pandemic didn't stop people from shopping for the holidays in 2020,
but it did change how and when they shopped.

The pandemic didn't stop people from shopping for the holidays in 2020, but it did change how and when they shopped.

2020 holiday sales

Shopping cart icon next to text image that says 789.4 billion dollars
Shopping cart icon next to text image that says 789.4 billion dollars

spent on holiday sales

Two record-setting shopping days

Cyber Monday 10.8 billion dollars text image
Cyber Monday 10.8 billion dollars text image
Small Business Saturday 4.7 billion dollars text image
Small Business Saturday 4.7 billion dollars text image
Total online holiday spending 188 billion dollars text image
Total online holiday spending 188 billion dollars text image

Influences on shoppers

53 percent of customers text image
53 percent of customers text image

said retailers' return policies impacted where they chose to shop4

said retailers' return policies
impacted where they chose
to shop4

52 percent of shoppers text image
52 percent of shoppers text image

took advantage of early holiday sales and promotions5

took advantage of early
holiday sales and
promotions5

Role of internet and devices

Mouse icon over text image that says 95.7 million consumers
Mouse icon over text image that says 95.7 million consumers

shopped online only6

Laptop icon over text image that says 61 percent of online purchases
Laptop icon over text image that says 61 percent of online purchases

were made from a computer
or tablet during November5

Cellphone icon over text image that says 39 percent of online customers
Cellphone icon over text image that says 39 percent of online customers

were made from a smartphone
during November5

Estimated 1 billion hours spent on shopping apps7

Record year for shipping

3 billion text image
3 billion text image

packages delivered
during peak season8

Delivered on time nearly 94 to 97 percent text image
Delivered on time nearly 94 to 97 percent text image

of the time for four weeks from Nov.
22 to Dec. 26 across all carriers8

Trends shaping business in 2021

The accelerated growth of e-commerce and changing consumer expectations
creates new opportunities to succeed with customers.

The accelerated growth of e-commerce and changing consumer expectations creates new opportunities to succeed with customers.

Stay-at-home boom text image
Stay-at-home boom text image

Top e-commerce categories in 2020: Consumer electronics, furniture and home furnishings, health and beauty, food and beverage9

80 percent of consumers text image
80 percent of consumers text image

are more likely to make a purchase
from a brand that provides
personalized experiences10

Consumer expectations

Opened box icon
Opened box icon

Returns

More than 3 out of 4 shoppers who highly rated their returns experience with a retailer that was new to them said they'd shop with them again11

Store front icon
Store front icon

Store pickup

38% of consumers plan to continue using curbside pickup for its convenience12

FedEx van icon
FedEx van icon

Shipping speed

2.3 days—Consumers' expectations of fast delivery (average across product categories)13

Virtual experiences

14 percent of buyers text image
14 percent of buyers text image

say they will purchase virtual experiences in the future, as many consumers may not feel comfortable returning to "business as usual"12

Small and local businesses

61 percent of buyers text image
61 percent of buyers text image

say they plan to buy from local and independent retailers in the future12

Sustainability

Over 50 percent text image
Over 50 percent text image

of U.S. consumers are very concerned about the environmental impact of packaging14

65 percent of shoppers text image
65 percent of shoppers text image

want to buy from brands that aim for sustainability15


1“NRF says 2020 holiday sales grew 8.3 percent despite pandemic,” National Retail Federation, January 15, 2021
2“The Cyber 5 Holiday Report,” Digital Commerce 360, December 2020; “eCommerce Returns: What to expect in early 2021”
3“Reviewing 2020’s Holiday Shopping Season,” Adobe Digital Insights
4“Retailers tap mall owner Simon to help make returning online purchases easier,” CNBC, November 17, 2020
5“How 50,000+ Ecommerce Brands Used Owned Marketing to Drive Nearly $1 Billion in Online Store Sales Across Cyber Weekend 2020,” Klaviyo, December 1, 2020
6“Online sales grow a slower-than-expected 20.6% over Cyber 5 but still set records,” Digital Commerce 360, December 3, 2020
7“Four Shopping Trends That Shaped the 2020 Holiday Season,” Forbes, December 22, 2020
8“Here’s how on-time FedEx, UPS and US Postal Service were for holiday shipping season,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, January 6, 2021
9“US forecasting shocks 2020: Ecommerce and overall commerce,” eMarketer, December 27, 2020
10“50 Stats Showing The Power Of Personalization,” Forbes, February 18, 2020
11“Most shoppers plan on making a return after the holidays,” Retail Dive, December 21, 2020
12“5 Pandemic Buying Habits That Are Here to Stay—According to Shopify Research,” Shopify Blog, September 10, 2020
13“Reconsidering the need for speed,” Pitney Bowes BOXpoll, October 2020
14“Sustainability in packaging: Inside the minds of US consumers,” McKinsey & Company, October 21, 2020
15“The Future of eCommerce: eCommerce Trends to Watch for in 2021,” Core DNA, December 21, 2020