Payments Blog

Looking Back: A 2018 Holiday Retrospective

Now firmly in the rearview mirror, the most recent holiday season was one for the record books, once again. In this era, with the growth of digital commerce and the proliferation of different devices that can initiate digital transactions, it seems that the record books need to be kept in pencil rather than pen.


Every holiday season, consumers are finding more convenient ways to purchase everything they want or need, which has evidently led to an overall increase in consumer spending during this time.

The 2018 holiday season marked the first time in history that total holiday retail sales topped $1 trillion, which was a 5.8 percent increase over the prior year, according to eMarketer.

There are some smaller factors that, coupled together, could add up to be responsible for this record-setting number. For example, there were additional shopping days this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which some have attributed as one reason for this meteoric rise. While somewhat significant, it’s more likely that the continued use of digital channels, and the relative ease that these methods afford consumers, also played a key role.

While the entire industry did well this holiday season, apparel was one specific segment that experienced noticeable gains. Total apparel sales in the U.S. during the holiday season rose 7.9 percent over the prior holiday season, according to eMarketer. This is seemingly part of an ongoing trend, as forecasters expect digital commerce apparel sales to exceed $118 billion this coming year.

Even after a highly successful holiday season, many online merchants are often forced to grapple with chargebacks, issued by unhappy consumers or those who have been victims of fraud. While there are ways for merchants to win some of these chargeback disputes, the best defense strategy is attacking this head on before it evolves into a larger issue.

By bridging the information gap between merchants and issuers, and working collaboratively with both parties, the Cardinal Authentication Network equips the issuer with more rich data, which, in turn, allows them to make better risk decisions when assessing their transactions. This will, inevitably, help reduce the number of fraudulent transactions that sneak through the system, thus reducing chargebacks, and future headaches for merchants as well.

With the Cardinal Authentication Network, Cardinal puts Authentication First.

Posted by CardinalCommerce

Welcome to the CardinalCommerce blog. Cardinal is a global leader in authenticating digital transactions, with One Connection to drive digital commerce. Our goal for this blog is to provide a platform that will inform and educate our Customers and partners on consumer authentication, payments, mobile commerce, solution design and big data.

Topics: chargebacks, holiday, Cardinal Authentication Network, Apparel, Holiday Season

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