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Adobe: Online holiday spending broke several records

For the first time ever, every day of the holiday shopping season exceeded $1 billion in online sales.

That’s according to Adobe Analytics, which said that U.S. online spend during November and December reached a record $188.2 billion, up 32.2% over the year-ago period. Data from Adobe Analytics also reveals other record-breaking numbers, including average daily online revenue exceeding $3.1 billion during the holiday season, up 32% from $2.3 billion the prior year.

In addition, Adobe says there were 50 days with online revenue above $2 billion (up from 29 the previous year), and nine days where online spend exceeded $4 billion, including Thanksgiving Day (over $5 billion), up from three $4 billion days in 2019.

Curbside pickup/BOPIS orders grew 36% year-over-year, but growth dropped to 26% over the seven days leading up to Christmas Day. Smartphones accounted for 40% of the holiday season’s e-commerce growth, up 11% year-over-year. For the first time, in 2020 Christmas Day saw over half (52%) of its $1.3 billion online spend coming from smartphones.
Throughout the holiday season, groceries, appliances and books saw major boosts over October levels compared to 2019 - grocery at a 404% higher boost than 2019, appliances at 202% and books at 107%. The toys and jewelry categories saw incremental boosts, with toys seeing 50% and jewelry 66% more boost than 2019.
Small retailers ($10 - $50 million in revenue) had seen a bump in online sales early on in the pandemic, but that edge dissipated during the holiday season as large retailers ($1 billion-plus in revenue) increased their efforts on attracting customers. However, the difference in boosts for the 2020 holiday season was much closer at 110% for large vs. 104% for small retailers, compared to 2019, which had boosts of 107% for large and 84% for small.

“In light of the pandemic, digital has become the primary way for people to connect, work, be entertained and shop, helping set online spending records for the holiday season,” said Taylor Schreiner, director, Adobe Digital Insights. “Now, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise and more stringent lock-down measures return, online spending is expected to stay elevated, at least for the early part of 2021.”
Adobe analyzes one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs and 80 of the 100 largest retailers in the U.S.

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