The DataHero Blog

Visualize Holiday Spending: 2017 Holiday Sales Report

December 26th, 2017

As 2017’s holiday shopping season comes to a close, we take a look at how 2017’s holiday spending looked compared to previous years.

Lucky for us here at DataHero, we already had a preview into the projected sales figures for 2017. According to the National Retail Federation, 2017 Holiday Sales were projected to increase 3.6% – 4.0% to $678.8 – $682.0 Billion USD. That’s a solid projected increase from last year, but how did 2017 compare to previous years? We used DataHero’s charting tools to visualize holiday spending from 2002 to 2016, as shown in the data visualization chart below:


DataHero: Visualize Holiday Spending

Of course, holiday retail sales are always a strong predictor of the overall year’s revenue for retailers, ecommerce companies, and brands — since the majority of annual sales are booked in the Q4 Holiday period. This year, hot holiday gifts included voice-enabled speakers like those from Amazon and Sonos, as well as the typical selection of apparel, electronics, and home goods. So how did 2017 holiday sales measure up versus previous years?

Preliminary commentary from retail experts and payment providers is showing a strong increase from previous years, with Mastercard’s Market Insights team announcing a 4.9% jump during the holiday period from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24th — the biggest increase since 2011. This is in line with other market commentary that suggested a robust holiday shopping season – but the easiest way to understand holiday spend is to visualize holiday spending with actual hard data.

Unfortunately, the NRF doesn’t release official holiday spending numbers until early January, 2018. However, NRF CEO Matthew Shay has given us a bit of a preview of how 2017 may have turned out by suggesting that the final figures would meet or exceed the previous forecast. If so, it’s a welcome spot of good news in an otherwise challenging year for retail sales and traditional retailers, and represents a positive sign for growth and health in the overall economy.

By Alex Hsi

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