The National Retail Foundation (NRF) reports this year’s online holiday sales are expected to have an increase of 11% to 14% over last year. If this is true, holiday sales will bring in somewhere between $162.6 billion and $166.9 billion. This is more than 16 billion over 2018’s holiday e-commerce revenue in the US.

Compared to Adobe’s prediction, the NRF’s holiday predictions are a little more generous, and anticipates this holiday season will bring in $143 billion in online sales.

NRF released the forecast back in October, and released a consumer survey afterwards of over 7,000 consumers that found 165 million people planned on shopping during the busiest shopping week of the year, which is between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. 68.7 million out of the 165 million said that they will shop online during Cyber Monday.

69% of the respondents said that they are planning to shop during the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, but the number grew sharply when looking at younger consumers. The number grew to 88$ for shoppers between the ages of 18 to 24, and up to 84% when looking at the 25 to 34 age group.

With this information, retailers and e-commerce brands who focus on younger audiences should keep this in mind when planning for Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

According to the NRF report, there is a nearly even split between consumers who plan to start their shopping in-store (47%) compared to those who will start their holiday shopping online (41%).

“Those under 25 are even more likely to say they expect to start shopping in-store,” said the NRF, with 52% of younger shoppers reporting they’ll start their shopping at a physical retail location. Even with more consumers starting their holiday shopping in-store, brands need to be thinking about their online promotions and email marketing leading up to next week’s shopping surge — building awareness now is a proactive way to capture shoppers both in-store and online.

The survey participants were asked their top reasons for shopping during the holdiay week. 65% said, “Deals were too good to pass up.” Other reasons included:

  • It’s a tradition
  • Something to do over the holiday week
  • A group activity to do with friends and family (although none were as popular as the offer of a good deal).

SourceAmy Gesenhues