MasterCard Reveals Top Holiday Shopping Days Across Retail Categories

By Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo_)  

With total spending projections down and more than 50 percent of consumers looking to capitalize on incentives this upcoming holiday shopping season, online retailers must do more this year to ensure they boost sales by leveraging the power of promotions.

However, the right deal isn’t everything. Knowing when the peak time to issue such incentives is another matter, one that MasterCard recently tackled head on as a result of its latest MasterCard SpendingPulse survey released on November 19.

Published by MasterCard Advisors, the monthly report tracked retail sales across all payment types to predict the biggest holiday shopping day for select retail categories. MasterCard Advisors ranked the top three days for holiday spending in categories such as total retail, specialty apparel, luxury items and jewelry.

Overall, MasterCard expects Super Saturday, the last Saturday before the Christmas holiday, to retain its title as the biggest shopping day of the season this year.

“The final weekend before Christmas always shows a significant spike in retail sales, but for the past several years, jewelry and luxury has really risen to the top of consumers’ last-minute shopping lists,” Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of Market Insights for MasterCard Advisors, said in a November 19 statement.

This means that Super Saturday wasn’t the top shopping day in all categories. For an overview of the top shopping days as projected by MasterCard, we break down the full report to learn more.

Top Holiday Retail Sales Days

MasterCard’s data indicates that last-minute shopping will dominate the total retail sales category, with many shoppers waiting until the days leading up to Christmas to secure gifts for friends and loved ones.

The category’s top day was found to be Friday, November 29, suggesting there is a strong market for retailers who can incentivize more proactive shoppers.

Top Holiday Specialty Apparel Sales Days

MasterCard anticipates that specialty apparel shoppers will behave similarly to general retail shoppers, spending more on November 29 and December 21. However, December 14 was determined to be a top day for this spending category.

Top Holiday Luxury Spending Sales Days

Super Saturday is expected to be a key driver of luxury sales, excluding jewelry, according to the report. Quinlan indicated that this may be because marketers have become especially savvy at targeting men looking to make last-minute purchases for their significant others.

For more insights and analysis on another luxury spending category, jewelry, view MasterCard’s complete report here.

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