2021 Holiday Shopping Trends: Retail and Travel Sales Recap

2021 Holiday Shopping Trends: Retail and Travel Sales in Early October



It’s October and that can only mean one thing. The holiday shopping season is underway.  At Accertify, we protect 40% of the Internet Retailer’s top 100 merchants and the top global airlines (based on revenue) and leading US ticketing and entertainment websites – giving us unique insights to transaction volumes across the world’s marquis brands.

Every two weeks, starting from October 1, we will share our Accertify Holiday Tracker — a quick synopsis of what we are seeing in eCommerce and try to put that in context with previous years and against a backdrop of broader macro trends.

Here it goes… 

This first iteration will look at the time period from October 1 – 15 across retail, travel, and entertainment industries globally for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021.  To aid in our comparison, and to provide a broader perspective across the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll use the 2019 time period as our basis.

It’s not surprising that industries like travel and entertainment, which were especially impacted by the pandemic last year, are experiencing outsized gains when comparing 2021 to 2020 (115.0% and 760.3%, respectively). Perhaps, maybe even unexpectedly, is the rebound they’ve experienced in 2021 edging out 2019 levels (5.1% and 6.2%, respectively), a bellwether year for both industries. It’s clear consumers desire to get away or enjoy a few hours of entertainment at a concert, theme park, or the movie theatre is something we’ve all missed.

The retail industry continues to be a juggernaut as buying behaviors during the pandemic prove they are here to stay.  While year-over-year comparison for 2021 to 2020 (4.1%) is not nearly as great as 2020 to 2019 (36.9%), it still showed collective strength.  Perhaps shoppers are heeding advice to make those purchases earlier to avoid any supply chain snarls or last minute disruptions. It’s also important to note that Amazon Prime Day was held Oct 13-14, 2020 likely pulling forward additional retail spend into this time period, yet, comparatively 2021 was still higher.

Finally, similar to last year, we can see October ramping up in transaction volumes to start the holiday season. Collectively, across all industries globally, we saw volumes in this time period increased 13.1% compared to last year and 27.5% compared to 2019.