How the Pandemic Changed the 2021 Holiday Shopping Season | Economy

There was a time when online shopping was an inexpensive and effective way to find obscure merchandise and avoid a trip to the store. Then the coronavirus struck and turned the web into a way for homebound consumers to purchase life’s necessities.

E-commerce became a lifeline rather than a luxury and never more so than during the 2021 holidays. But as online shopping became ubiquitous, some of its earlier benefits disappeared, chief among them lower prices.

An analysis of online shopping trends during the 2021 Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday spending season by Adobe Digital Insights released Wednesday found that inflation has caught up with the web, as prices rose 3.5% in November from a year earlier and 3.1% annually in December. That was driven by demand, as consumers spent $204.5 billion during the 2021 holiday season, up 8.6% year over year.

Cartoons on the Coronavirus

“Everyone was in front of

Read More

Trumbull small businesses program kept holiday shoppers local

TRUMBULL — Susan Palazzo is well-aware that she’s competing with convenience.

Palazzo, co-owner of City Line Florist, said she knows it’s much easier for her customers to order flowers and other gifts online, as opposed to seeking out and patronizing a local brick-and-mortar business.

“Unfortunately, (online shopping) is not what keeps the small businesses, mom and pop shops, and the local neighborhood florists going,” she said.

That’s why she was grateful when, in November, the Town of Trumbull launched the Main Street Dollars program, which rewarded residents for shopping at City Line and two other small businesses, Pure Poetry and Plasko’s Farm.

The program provided up to 500 certificates to Trumbull residents to spend at the trio of businesses. The certificates are worth $10 and a customer must spend a minimum of $20 at one of the participating businesses to use the certificate.

Certificates could be picked up at

Read More

U.S. Holiday Retail Sales Rise 8.5% as Online Shopping Booms, Mastercard Says | Investing News

(Reuters) – U.S. retail sales rose 8.5% during this year’s holiday shopping season from Nov. 1 to Dec 24, a report by Mastercard Inc said on Sunday, powered by a rush to stores amid supply chain concerns as COVID-19 cases surge as well as soaring ecommerce sales.

U.S. ecommerce sales jumped 11% in this year’s holiday shopping season, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse report, yet again underscoring the COVID-19 pandemic’s role in transforming customers’ shopping habits.

Holiday e-commerce sales made up 20.9% of total retail sales this year, the data showed, noting that the sector continues to see growth as consumers enjoy the ease of browsing and buying in the comfort of their homes.

“Shoppers were eager to secure their gifts ahead of the retail rush, with conversations surrounding supply chain and labor supply issues sending consumers online and to stores in droves,” senior advisor for Mastercard Steve Sadove said in

Read More

BBB Tips: Holiday online shopping

As the economy continues to rebound from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Retail Federation predicts holiday spending will set new records this year, coming in between $843.5 billion and $850 billion. For the sake of both safety and convenience, many Americans will spend those funds with online retailers.

Shopping online may save time and money, but it also could save lives during this COVID-19 holiday season. Better Business Bureau (BBB) reminds shoppers to be careful when shopping online. Fraudsters can separate shoppers from their money or steal their personal information. Additionally, even though many people are shopping early, supply chain challenges mean some companies may not be able to deliver gifts in time for the holidays.

While the vast majority of online retailers are reliable, some are not. As online shopping has skyrocketed in 2020 and 2021, so has the number of complaints to BBB about online

Read More