Holiday Shopping eCommerce Stats and Trends

A new gift-giving season has arrived, and with it, a new seasonal shopper.

People worldwide discovered new ways to find and buy gifts for loved ones in 2020, and they welcomed internet commerce as a way to keep the magical holiday joy alive.

Will people continue to shop online in greater numbers than they have in the past? What channels will customers use to study and buy gifts, and when will they start looking for them? What role will physical stores have in the future? Get a sneak peek at the report’s trends in the video below.


Ecommerce will remain robust into the New Year around the world

According to eMarketer, internet sales increased by about 28% year over year in 2020.

 Online sales accounted for 19% of all retail sales, according to statistics from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Many establishments were open with improved security precautions by the peak shopping season of 2020, but consumers made more seasonal purchases online than ever before. Online retail sales climbed 22% year over year in early December 2020, according to Criteo’s worldwide sales data—at a time when retail sales are already at their best yearly level on every channel. 3

The central question is whether customers will persist with their digital shopping patterns or revert to their 2019 habits after an unprecedented year of eCommerce development.

Consumers aren’t breaking their new habits, according to Criteo’s worldwide retail statistics. Global eCommerce sales were 24 percent greater in July 2021 than they were before the outbreak. Many local economies are open ahead of the peak shopping season in 2021, but not without problems. As new COVID-19 instances mount and fall, several governments are reverting to lockdowns.

When the COVID-19 situation stabilizes, we expect customers to do a combination of online and in-store buying, with a greater dependence on eCommerce for seasonal purchases than before the pandemic. Consumers will rely extensively on eCommerce in lockdown areas because of its safety, convenience, and 24-hour availability.

Overall, eCommerce will remain stable until the end of the year, but the rate of increase in online sales.


The buying season will begin early 

Commerce is all around us, from physical businesses to smartphones and smart speakers. Consumers have a plethora of options for discovering, researching, and purchasing items and services in their daily lives. Entsia will get your company into the market, regardless of its size. Their end-to-end system was designed to be flexible.

As consumers spend more time at home, linked to all of their devices, “continuous commerce” grew even more prevalent in 2020.  “Continuous commerce” is expected to become even more popular at a time of year when consumers are thinking about holidays, and gifts and businesses are giving their best offers. However, this does not imply that consumers are continually making purchases; instead, it means that they are constantly considering their next purchase.

Black Friday is an excellent example of a case study at Criteo to figure out how the path to buy will look in the peak shopping season of 2021. Black Friday sales are soaring in several nations across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. According to the data, it takes an average of two weeks for a new client in the United States to make a Black Friday purchase—and much longer in other countries. For those with the longest path to purchase, it can take four to nine weeks from first contact to purchase, with US customers taking the lowest time and German and Japanese customers taking the longest.


Seasonal product discovery will take place across all platforms

The holiday shopping season is always a great time to discover new brands and products. Consumers frequently deviate from their usual buying patterns in order to purchase products they’ve never bought before for celebrations and gifts.

This year, it’s possible that discovery will be at an all-time high. Consumers are deliberating their seasonal purchases for weeks, providing them several opportunities to discover new brands and items while doing so. 

According to Criteo survey results, discovery in 2021 will be more than just search and social media. We polled over 14,000 consumers worldwide from April to June and discovered that people find things they end up buying using search engines, physical locations, brand sites and apps, retail sites and apps, and online marketing.


Retailers will fuel seasonal spending and excitement

The magic of the season is enhanced by the experience of shopping at a store. In addition to low discounts, elaborate window displays, festive throughout-store décor, and unique experiences bring increased foot traffic to physical retail sites in the fourth quarter.

However, after a year of record-breaking eCommerce sales, what role will retailers play in the 2021 holiday season?

Stores are crucial at the conclusion of the path to purchase when consumers are ready to buy and significant during the discovery phase.

When lockdowns are lifted, and companies reopen, in-store sales increase swiftly, driving up overall consumer spending, according to Criteo sales data from the US and Europe.

When the Great Reopening began earlier this year, overall sales in the United States began to rise in April, and a gap between offline and online sales started to grow. In-store sales increased by 52 percent in the week ending April 11 compared to the first four weeks of January, while overall sales increased by 29 percent and internet sales increased by 1%.

Offline and total sales began to grow as soon as the European lockdowns were lifted in 2021. When comparing the first four weeks of March to the week of July 4, when some countries gave summer discounts, in-store sales soared 338 percent, retail sales, in general, grew 287 percent, and internet sales increased 7%.


All of these trends point to the fact that consumers are driving major changes in global business. However, in 2021, consumers will not be considering channels, touchpoints, or the path to purchase when making purchasing decisions. They’re allowing businesses into their life that provide them with value in the form of free content, personal data control, relevant and interesting advertisements, and a consistent omnichannel experience.



Mianna Korben

Mianna Korben

Mianna is a passionate writer currently living and dreaming in Europe. She is a strong believer that both mental and physical fitness go hand in hand, you can't have one without the other. Her aim is to inspire people to reach their potential, feel confident and to lead a happy life. And like any other girl, she is guilty of falling in love, over and over again, with premium makeup, fashion and champagne.
Mianna Korben

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