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Adobe: Early deals drive $72 billion in online holiday spend

online holiday
Consumers are not waiting to begin their online holiday shopping.

So far, U.S. consumer holiday spend is on track with 2021 levels.

U.S. consumers spent $72.2 billion online in October 2022, up 10.9% from the previous month and on par with the $72.4 billion they spent online in October 2021, according to Adobe Analytics data. In both October 2022 and 2021, Adobe analysis indicates that discounts and deals drove an uptick in early holiday shopping.

[Read more: Early Black Friday promos, supply chain fears impact holiday shoppers]

According to Adobe, online discounts in categories including electronics and toys have been as high as 17% and 15%, respectively. Computers have had prices lowered by as much as 10%), with more modest discounts occurring in categories such as televisions (4%), sporting goods (3%) and furniture (2%).

Although Adobe’s initial 2022 holiday forecast called for an early start to online seasonal shopping, the company still expects the best deals to happen around Cyber Week. Year-to-date (January 2022 - October 2022), Adobe data indicates consumers have spent a total of $727 billion, up 6.9% year-over-year.

[Read more: Adobe: Online holiday sales due for early start, modest growth]

Additional Adobe Analytics Insights include:

  • Sales of holiday décor are up 189% (compared to daily average sales in August 2022). And as the weather gets colder, outerwear apparel is up as well, rising 142%. Grocery shopping online continues to gain traction among consumers, up 27.9% on a year-over-year basis. Adobe expects online grocery spending to pick up as consumers get closer to preparing their Thanksgiving meals.
  • In October 2022, revenue share from buy now, pay later (BNPL) transactions was up just 1% year-over-year. And from January through September 2022, revenue share from BNPL transactions was up just 5% year-over-year. While the growth has been partly affected by the broader economic environment and a slowdown in consumer spending, Adobe advises that BNPL is also contending with challenges in demonstrating value to mass consumers.
  • In October 2022, curbside pickup accounted for 17% of online orders for U.S. retailers that offer the service. This figure was down from the 24% share in October 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic drove consumers to leverage the fulfillment option as a safe and fast way to shop. Adobe expects usage of curbside pickup will increase in December, as consumers leverage it to avoid possible shipping delays.

“Despite inflationary pressures and the rising cost of borrowing, there was not a material decline this year in early holiday shopping,” said Taylor Schreiner, senior director, Adobe Digital Insights. “With over $72 billion spent online in October, e-commerce demand has shown itself to be durable and resilient, in spite of a challenging macroeconomic environment.”

Adobe’s analysis covers the period from Oct. 1-31, 2022. Findings are based on Adobe Analytics data and provide a comprehensive view into U.S. e-commerce by analyzing commerce transactions online. The analysis covers over 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories. 

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