Report: 30% Increase in Global Thanksgiving Weekend E-commerce Transactions

Online sales of products continue to resonate globally. ACI Worldwide Dec. 4 revealed a 21% increase in e-commerce transactions worldwide in November compared to November 2019. This was driven by strong consumer demand for household items and services, especially those providing shipment, remote education and training, and insurance for consumer electronics.

According to the data, based on hundreds of millions of online transactions from global merchants, the retail sector saw a 30% increase over the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday in 2020 compared to 2019.

The Saturday after Black Friday experienced the biggest increase at 47% compared to 2019. However, the average ticket price on these peak days declined by 3% compared to 2019, down from $136 to $132, as consumers are attracted to free shipment and sales.

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“This year’s holiday season is looking very different from previous years with many merchants starting sales much earlier, as well as continuing promotions beyond the traditional peak days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Debbie Guerra, EVP, ACI Worldwide, said in a statement.

Guerra said many merchants expanded their buy-online-pick-up-in-store and free next-day delivery options, which attracted many consumers.

“The result is a substantial increase in e-commerce transaction volumes prior to Black Friday,” she said.

Fraud attempt rates by volume increased slightly to 1.7% by volume and 3.4% by value, similarly to prior holiday seasons, as a result of increased genuine consumer spending outpacing fraud. Non-fraud chargebacks increased by 15% in October 2020 compared with 2019, a lower percentage than that of April and May of 2020, mainly due to more people being back at work and call centers being better staffed to deal with consumer calls.

Guerra said consumers should avoid leaving packages on their doorsteps for long periods of time to avoid porch piracy, as this has been an area of growing concern over the years.

“As the buy-online-pick-up-in-store channel continues to experience fast growth driven by the pandemic, it is providing greater opportunity for fraudsters,​” she said.

E-commerce purchasing trends:

  • In 2020 to-date (January to November), global e-commerce transactions increased by 20% compared with the same period last year.
  • Travel and ticketing continued to see a significant dip in November due to the pandemic, declining 60% and 85% respectively.
  • Transactions in the gaming sector increased 50%; this increase was less than previous months, potentially due to market saturation as well as consumers potentially awaiting holiday gift cards for gaming purchases.
  • The U.S. saw an increase in transactions of 20% and the U.K. of 19% percent from January through November 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.


Fraud trends:

  • ​Fraudulent attempt purchase value decreased by $11 in 2020 compared to 2019; this was the impact of airline, sporting event and concert ticket purchase declines, which have a high average ticket price; genuine purchases value decreased by $18​.
  • Fraud attempt rates by volume increased slightly by 1.7% and 3.4% by value, similar to prior holiday seasons, as a result of increased genuine consumer spending outpacing fraud.