Growth in Online Sales Outpacing Physical Store Sales, Shows Data from Holiday Season

With the 2015 holiday season nearly behind us, data is now emerging about what Americans spent on and how much. The MasterCard SpendingPulse report, for one, says that consumers in the United States spent the most on furniture this year. This indicates that many buyers are now not limiting themselves to smaller, everyday goods but are spending on big-ticket products. The report uses data collated during the period between Black Friday and Christmas Eve

Consumers in the U.S. spent 7.9% more than they did a year ago, the report notes, while adding that online sales saw a massive spike in 2015. The number of people turning toward online shopping saw a 20% spike over last year, as more consumers decided that they wanted to shop from the comfort of their homes or offices.

Retailers begin gearing up for the year-end festive season months in advance in anticipation of consumers splurging on a variety of consumer goods ranging from clothes to personal care products and gizmos to appliances.

Ecommerce giant Amazon, too, says that the festive shopping sentiment was very positive among buyers, with the company adding that it shipped items to as many as 185 countries this year. This marks a record in the number of items that company has shipped worldwide thus far.

Despite the unprecedented rise of online shopping as a phenomenon, what cannot be overlooked is the fact that shopping at physical stores has still not lost its charm. Brick-and-mortar store shopping still accounts for the highest spending during the festive season. But store owners are now aware of the massive shift to online stores and are making efforts to improve their web stores and build their delivery systems, with many of them offering free delivery.

The National Retail Federation, which is the largest retail trade group in the United States, expects retail sales in the country in November and December to approximate $630.5 billion, indicating a 3.7% increase over 2014.

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