Consumers will spend as much as $105 billion in online holiday purchases this year, or between 6-8 percent more than they spent in 2014, the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicted this week.
Online shopping increases help drive growth in the shipping sector, especially during the holidays. For example, the Postal Service’s shipping and package volume rose 12.8 percent during the final three months of 2014, driven partially by a spike in online holiday purchases.
Overall holiday spending will reach $630 billion this year, up 3.7 percent from 2014, NRF predicts.
This year’s growth rate will be slightly smaller because consumers are a little more concerned about the economy, said Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and chief executive.
“While economic indicators have improved in several areas, Americans remain somewhat torn between their desire and their ability to spend,” Shay said.
Retailers are expected to be more competitive to lure consumers, including offering better deals online. Some retailers already have lowered their thresholds for free shipping.
Other groups are predicting rosier holiday sales.
Last month, consulting firm Deloitte projected online and mail-order holiday sales will grow between 8.5-9 percent. Total holiday sales will exceed $960 billion, Deloitte said.