Shippers delivered 1.5 billion packages during the holidays — which works out to five parcels per person in the United States, a new study has found.
The shipping surge was driven by a 20 percent increase in online sales, according to the research by commercial real estate giant CBRE Group.
“Yes, Virginia, consumers showed up online this season in record numbers,” the report states.
Online sales in November and December reached $83 billion, according to estimates included in the report. On “Cyber Monday” alone, Internet sales exceeded $3 billion, up 16 percent from one year earlier.
Overall holiday sales increased 3 percent to $626 billion, the National Retail Federation reported Jan. 15.
The CBRE report also notes the holiday shipping season is getting longer due to online purchases.
For example, as much as one-third of online purchases are expected to be returned, often through free shipping offers.
Additionally, the study suggests the rise in mobile shopping will extend online sales growth into 2016.
Retailers are taking note.
“This ease of online shopping and the occasional need for returns is influencing retailers … to step up their sleigh game in real-time and plan accordingly for next year,” the report states.