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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

’Tis the season for growth

Mastercard SpendingPulseTM forecasts a big holiday shopping season

It’s shaping up to be one heck of a holiday shopping season. Mastercard SpendingPulse™, which provides insights into overall retail spending trends, is forecasting a banner year for online and in-store commerce across all payment types.

Total retail sales (excluding automotive) are expected to grow 5 percent and e-commerce at 20 percent over last year.

Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, you can expect overall U.S. retail sales (excluding automotive) to come in 50 percent higher than 10 years ago—and 19 percent higher than just five years ago.

Ecommerce sales this season should be especially strong, up 104 percent for the entire season compared to five years ago.

What can you expect as the holiday shopping season gets into full swing on Thanksgiving? Here’s a closer look at some of the forecast insights from Mastercard

The more the merrier this Thanksgiving weekend

Pass the gravy. Holiday buyers are really going to be loading up their plates—with overall sales on Thanksgiving weekend up 19 percent compared to five years ago and eCommerce up 137 percent. And they have an entire buffet of options for engagement.

The way consumers buy—and make buying decisions—is changing. In-store shopping, online purchasing, and blended experiences, such as “buy online/pick up in store” are all on the menu. In particular, commerce via social media platforms and other emerging business models are reshaping the face of marketing and sales. Consumers are looking at what’s in their pockets, and they’re finding their phones as well as their wallets, with about 80 percent of purchase decisions being affected by mobile.1

Two big days: the 23rd and the 23rd

Mastercard SpendingPulse forecasts that Sunday, Dec. 23, will see about the same sales volume as Black Friday, Nov. 23.


And brace for a big finish as we head toward the New Year

According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, the country will spend more than $60 billion on retail purchases during the Friday-through-Sunday final weekend before Christmas. That’s 50 percent more than a decade ago—and 19 percent more than just five years ago.

More to unwrap for the holidays

The holidays are just getting started, and there’s a lot more to discover and celebrate about this season’s expected retail activity.


About Mastercard SpendingPulse:

Mastercard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales across all payments types in select markets around the world. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check.