Americans bought more stuff online this holiday season; e-commerce sales jump 18%

If you did some holiday shopping this year, there’s a good chance you made purchases online.

Americans spent more online in the weeks leading up to Christmas this year, despite a shorter holiday season.

Overall, seasonal shopping from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 was up 3.4% over last year, with online sales swelling 18.8%, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks spending trends.

Online sales hit a record high, according to the report, released Thursday. It found clothing, accessories, and electronics to be the primary drivers behind the e-commerce boom with specialty apparel sales jumping 17%. Jewelry sales increased 8.8% and electrics sales grew 10.7% over last year.

“Due to a later than usual Thanksgiving holiday, we saw retailers offering omnichannel sales earlier in the season, meeting consumers’ demand for the best deals across all channels and devices,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks, in a statement with the report.

Amazon took advantage of big shopping days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday by offering customers “deeper discounts and more deals of the day than ever before,” the company said in a press release revealing its holiday sales results.

Amazon said billions of items were ordered worldwide, and the number of products delivered with free one-day and same-day shipping nearly quadrupled in the U.S. Amazon called the holiday season “record-breaking,” and it said it sold more than half a billion items in its brick-and-mortar stores.

The best-selling items on included the company’s Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo Show. Robot vacuums and apparel were also popular choices among shoppers.

“We are pleased to present our interim sales results for this important season, which reflect improved global trends compared to previous quarters this year,”  said Alessandro Bogliolo, CEO of Tiffany & Co.

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter:@Dalvin_Brown.