First Data’s Holiday SpendTrend Report Reveals Strong Start to Holiday Shopping Season

American consumers were moving out of their kitchens and heading straight to the mall for the official kick off of the holiday season, according to First Data’s latest holiday SpendTrend report.

Our analysis of the transaction data of more than 1.3 million U.S. merchants revealed that a strong preseason spending spread fed into a particularly robust holiday weekend (Thanksgiving – Cyber Monday), where spending across eCommerce and brick-and-mortar was up 8% year-over-year.

The “Perfect Storm” for Holiday Spending

A number of factors have played a role in this strong start to the holiday season. High consumer confidence (a four year high in October), coupled with low unemployment numbers (10 year low in October) set the stage for shoppers both before and after Thanksgiving. Additionally, the favorable weather patterns across the country also coaxed consumers outside to kick off their holiday shopping. 

eCommerce Continues to Grow

For the full five-day period, eCommerce sales made up 28% of total volume, up from 24% last year. eCommerce momentum was especially strong throughout the full five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, achieving 15.2% growth over 2016’s results.

Electronics & Appliances Lead the Pack

Electronics & appliances saw year-over-year growth of 16.6% over the five days, with a strong lead over the next strongest category: specialty retailers at growth of 8.9%. Across the board, however, all retail categories saw growth, emphasizing how happy this holiday season has already been for retailers.

You can review the full report here.

First Data’s Information & Analytics team reviewed the point-of-sale activity from 1.3 million merchants. The analysis includes card-based forms of payment and is based on actual, same-store activity. The Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday comparisons cover November 24th through November 28th