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Ecommerce Spending Continued To Climb In January

February 10, 2021 Sarah Cavill

Throughout the last year, and especially during the holidays, ecommerce was essential for brands and retailers. The great pivot to online shopping and ecommerce has allowed many businesses to succeed despite difficult circumstances. A recent report from Mastercard SpendingPulse found that ecommerce continued to grow in January, even as the holiday season wrapped up.

Retail Sales Grow Around The Country, With Ecommerce Critical To Success

According to the Mastercard SpendingPulse report, which measures in-store and online retail sales, there were “retail gains across nearly all sectors and all 50 U.S. states” in January. Overall retail sales grew “9.2% year over year (YOY), with online sales growing 62.1% compared to 2020.” 

Over the holiday period, retail sales grew 3%, higher than the predicted 2.4%, with online sales 49% higher than 2019. The momentum of a holiday season that saw consumers comfortably spending and buying online was a driver of retail growth in January, notes Mastercard, with ecommerce sales a significant share of the uptick. (The infusion of cash from stimulus checks in early January also helped retail sales.)

Mastercard SpendingPulse report

Furnishings & Fashion Drove January Retail Sales

After a year in sweats, the new-year-new-you shoppers boosted online apparel sales 52.5% in January, which, though down from last year, is the smallest YOY decline since the pandemic began to impact U.S retail sales in March 2020. Consumers are still investing in their homes with eight straight months of retail growth in furniture and furnishings, up 16.6% in January YOY. And, the Mastercard SpendingPulse report had good news for department stores, finding “The department store sector experienced its first year-over-year increase in sales (+1.5%) since 2019, boosted by strong online sales (+27.9%).”

Ecommerce Retail Growth In 2021 Is A Good Sign For Retailers And Consumers

“We’re living in a digital world. For consumers, ecommerce has emerged as a lifeline and a lifestyle. January’s numbers are just further proof of this ongoing trend,” said Steve Sadove, Mastercard senior advisor. “A big, bright note from January is that consumers are spending.” The growth of ecommerce is the combined result of quarantine behaviors and the ability of many retailers and brands to effectively offer seamless, welcoming ecommerce options for consumers. Brands and retailers should continue to optimize their ecommerce solutions to meet consumer needs and find new revenue opportunities.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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