As predicted by many research outlets, online sales growth this holiday season is outpacing the growth in physical store sales, according to analysis by payments analytics company First Data.
Physical store sales were up 2%, while retail web sales were up 4.6% according to an analysis of online and in-store payments made from Oct. 31 through mid-December by First Data.
Unseasonably warm weather in much of the country may be keeping people outdoors rather than inside shopping, which could be lending a lift to web sales as well.
With many physical retailers vastly improving their web sales capabilities, it’s no wonder that e-commerce growth is continuing to outpace growth in physical retail.
One question this holiday season is how much the extra boost for e-commerce is due to growth in mobile commerce and how much is due to the weather.
“Store traffic is down everywhere, and it’s compounded by the weather,” Steven Barr, PwC’s U.S. retail and consumer-sector leader, told the Associated Press. “We do believe that warm weather is driving consumers online.”
But, by how much?
E-commerce will grow at three times the rate of in-store sales or some 11% in November and December, according to Forrester Research, with much of that due to increased mobile activity.