2021 Holiday Shopping Trends: Retail and Travel Sales Early November

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It’s already November and time for the next Accertify Holiday Tracker!  On October 1st, we started sharing bi-weekly quick synopses of what we are seeing in e-commerce and putting that in context with previous years and against a backdrop of broader macro trends.

The holiday shopping season is well underway.  Because 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, we have unique insights to transaction volumes across the world’s marquis brands. If you missed the first Accertify Holiday Tracker, you can read it here.

And it is now time for our second iteration. We looked at transaction volume trends from October 16-31 across retail, travel, and entertainment industries globally from 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.

As shown in the chart above, the travel and entertainment industries continue to be the star pupils and experience outsized gains both YoY (690.4%) and compared to 2019 (22.4%).   With the United States set to lift international border restrictions on November 8 for vaccinated travelers, the demand should continue to remain strong. But it isn’t just airlines fueling the recovery. As we noted in our first report, after almost two years of uncertainty caused by the pandemic the desire to be a “tourist” again is something many have missed.

While the travel and entertainment industries may be capturing the headlines, the retail industry continues to keep its head down and notch impressive gains for all comparison periods.  The second half of October also saw the launch of many early Black Friday deals from large retailers like Target, Best Buy, Walmart, and Amazon1. New this year, and perhaps to combat some lingering supply chain issues, many retailers are also offering “price match guarantees” to ensure customers don’t delay purchases for fear of getting a lower price closer to the holidays.1 This could pull sales forward while giving shoppers confidence they are still getting the best price.

As we look back on the second half of October, Accertify’s clients’ e-commerce transaction volumes across all industries globally, continue to grow at a solid pace of 15.3% compared to last year and 26.4% compared to 2019.  While the anomalous gains in Accertify retail clients seen in 2020 compared to 2019 (40.2%) were not sustainable, the fact that the industry is showing healthy growth (5.8%) on top of the historic jump last year is noteworthy.

1https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/black-friday-price-match-guarantees-you-stress-free-shopping-this-year/