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Online the ‘Bright Spot’ for Holiday Season Sales

E-commerce to reach $96 billion, retail group says.

Shoppers will be busy buying both online and off this holiday season, but online retailers will see the biggest gains from consumer spending.

The National Retail Federation finds that, overall, holiday season sales will increase 4.1 percent compared to last year, reaching $586.1 billion. Online sales will see double-digit growth of 12 percent, reaching $96 billion, adds That’s nearly twice what eMarketer predicted in September, when it reported online purchases would reach $54.47 billion.

“Online retail has been a bright spot for years, and we don’t expect that trend to change anytime soon, especially with the growth in mobile,” says Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and CEO. “Aside from the convenience, shoppers look to the holiday season to take advantage of retailers’ increased digital offerings. In addition to enhancing the site experience, retailers have spent the year investing in optimizing their mobile and social platforms, just what holiday shoppers are looking for.”

Overall growth will be moderate compared to the last two holiday seasons, but this is the most optimistic forecast Shay’s organization has released since the recession, he reports.

Jack Kleinhenz, the NRF’s chief economist, adds that shoppers are still anxious about the economy, but that won’t keep them from shopping.

“Retailers can expect to see excitement around their promotions and plenty of bargain hunters both online and in stores in the coming months,” he adds.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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