More than a fifth of all holiday shopping is now occurring online, based on transaction data from 1.3 million U.S. merchant locations.
First Data’s Holiday 2015 SpendTrend Report revealed retail sales are up 3.3% for the full holiday season. The sales growth was a marginal increase over 2014’s year-over-year growth of 3.2%.
First Data says the marginal increase from 3.2% to 3.3% could be attributed to a fall in average ticket sizes – a decline of 0.2% year-over-year that occurred during most of the holiday season.
On average shoppers were spending $74.68 on each purchase. The frequency of transactions, however, may have offset the lower ticket prices which resulted in overall healthy growth for the full season.
Online, shoppers were inclined to spend more than at the register with purchases averaging $125.72 per transaction compared to $69.64 at brick and mortar locations.
In terms of when shoppers were spending, Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday weekend dominated the holiday season showing the highest year-over-year growth of 6.3% for the entire holiday period. The last two weeks of December, however, also showed higher concentration of sales.
Categories that fared well this season included building materials & garden equipment, which saw a healthy 11.9% growth rate and general merchandise retailers experience a 5% overall increase in sales. Electronics & appliances, however, declined 2.2%, as did clothing & accessories stories which dropped 0.9%.
Regionally, the western region of the United States showed the strongest brick & mortar sales growth for the full season. Though they experienced low growth rates by midseason, New England, the mid-Atlantic and the southwest rebounded with higher growth rates by the end of the season.
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