In the 2017 holiday shopping season, eMarketer expects US retail ecommerce sales will grow 15.8%, a bit slower than the 17.8% increase seen in the 2016 holiday sales season.
Overall holiday retail sales are also expected to see slower growth this year, rising 2.0% compared with 2016's 4.8%.
But the retail environment is unusually difficult to forecast this year, cautioned eMarketer retail analyst Yory Wurmser. “US consumer confidence is at its highest level in 15 years, and tax cuts could boost spending,” he said, “but a border tax could raise prices on retail goods and political instability in general could spook consumers.”
One thing that is not changing is the inexorable increase in ecommerce's share of total retail. In the 2016 holiday season, ecommerce made up 10.6% of total retail. This year, the share will reach 12.0%.
The projections are highlights of a new eMarketer report authored by Wurmser: “US Holiday Shopping Preview 2017: Recapping 2016, and Looking Ahead to This Season.” (The full report is available only to eMarketer PRO subscribers.)