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Signifyd says online holiday spending in the U.S. grew 7% from October to December, more than expectations of 5% growth.

Retailers had a happy holiday season, according to new holiday spending data from Signifyd. The fraud prevention vendor says U.S. holiday sales increased 7% in 2023 over 2022. Signifyd classifies Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 as the holiday season. The security company previously predicted that sales would grow 5%.

Signifyd provides fraud prevention services to web merchants. Its network includes 115 retailers in the 2023 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 ranking of North America’s leading online retailers. The vendor’s data comes from transactions across thousands of ecommerce websites and 600 million unique shoppers.

Average order value grew 3% year over year for the three-month holiday season, Signifyd found. Meanwhile, fraud attempts declined slightly, down 1%.

Online holiday spending habits

Online holiday shopping started early this year and continued strong through the end of the season, Signifyd found. That’s contrary to some predictions that early season sales would pull spending forward and December sales numbers would be modest. 

“Both we and our merchants were pleasantly surprised by the staying power of the consumer throughout what has typically been the peak holiday period,” Signifyd chief customer officer J. Bennett said in a statement. “This felt like a return to normalcy, with consumers waiting for better deals later in the season. When retailers ultimately offered those deals, consumers responded in a big way.” 


Spending resembled pre-COVID shopping patterns, peaking from mid-November to Dec. 20, Bennett said. 

Growth increased over the three months Signifyd counted as part of the holidays. October sales grew 4% year over year, November sales grew 8%, and December sales were up 11%, it found. That’s the opposite of the trajectory of Signifyd’s predictions of 7%, 5% and 3%, respectively.

Some of the December growth was due to late-season discounts, according to Siginifyd. 23% of all online sales in December used a discount code, a 14% increase from December 2022. 

Online sales by category

Online grocery sales recorded the largest year-over-year change in Q4, Signifyd found. They increased 24% over 2022 levels. Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis sales also showed a significant increase, up 19%. Leisure and outdoor sales grew 11% and electronics sales grew 9%. 


Signifyd also shared sales growth by category in December, the month with the largest year-over-year increase in online sales. Grocery again led growth, up 27% from online grocery sales in December 2022. Electronics were the next-highest category, growing 19% year over year. Leisure and outdoor and luxury sales grew 14% and 12%, respectively.

How do Signifyd’s results compare to other data?

Signifyd reported a larger increase in U.S. online holiday sales than Adobe Analytics. Adobe, however, measures a shorter holiday season encompassing November and December. It found that sales grew 4.9% year over year, based on 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs and 18 categories. 

Signifyd’s findings aren’t far off from Adobe’s. Signifyd found that November online sales grew 8% year over year, while Adobe recorded a 6% increase.

Despite slightly different numbers, the technology companies noted many of the same categories driving growth. Signifyd names grocery as the top-growing category during its holiday period. Adobe found that grocery was the fourth-largest of its 18 categories, accounting for $19.1 billion in sales in November and December. Electronics sales also grew significantly in December, per Signifyd. Adobe found electronics were the largest single category over the holidays, responsible for $50.8 billion in sales.


Mastercard SpendingPulse reported a figure in the middle of Adobe’s and Signifyd’s. Online sales grew 6.3% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, the credit card company found.

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