Online sales growth helped U.S. holiday sales for 2020 beat expectations. According to the research data analyzed and published by Finaria, retail sales grew by three percent during the period against an expected 2.4 percent. During the 75-day holiday period, ecommerce sales spiked 49 percent and accounted for nearly 20 percent of total retail sales compared to 13.4 percent in 2019, while in-person sales at department stores slipped 10.2 percent year-over-year.

U.S. Census Bureau data shows that retail sales in the country started 2020 with 4.7-percent growth in January. The pandemic pushed it down 19.9 percent in April, while by October sales were rebounding at an 8.5-percent growth rate. Retail sales posted 8.9-percent growth in November, but was significantly outpaced by the Cyber 5, the five-day period bookended by Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Digital shoppers spent $34.36 billion, up 20.6 percent from the same period in 2019.

All in all, non-store spending in November 2020 grew by 31.3 percent year-over-year, according to ecommerce news and research provider Digital Commerce 360. It was the highest performance ever seen in November and the second highest on record. The highest was 31.5 percent in June 2020. In November, 75.3 percent of all sales took place online, compared to 51 percent in October. During the first 11 months of 2020, non-store sales in the U.S. grew by 24 percent, compared to 13.9 percent in 2019, and non-store gains accounted for 70.2 percent of all retail sales growth in that period. In the first two weeks of December, digital sales in the U.S. grew by 36 percent. During the same period, global digital sales grew by 45 percent year-over-year.