Adobe expects online holiday sales growth of close to 5%.
Online holiday sales are expected to be strong this year — and so are the discounts.
According to the Adobe online shopping forecast for the 2023 holiday season, covering the period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2023, U.S. online holiday sales will hit $221.8 billion. This represents 4.8% growth year-over-year (YoY). In the 2022 season, Adobe data indicates U.S. shoppers spent $211.7 billion online, and saw 3.5% YoY growth, beating its preseason prediction of 2.5%.
Record discounts expected
Adobe anticipates holiday discounts will hit record highs — up to 35% off listed prices — during the holiday season as retailers contend with an uncertain spending environment and consumers continue to deal with rising costs in areas such as food. Of the 18 product categories tracked by Adobe, toys, electronics and apparel are expected to have the biggest deals. The deepest discounts are expected to hit during Cyber Week.
Discounts for toys are expected to peak at 35% off listed prices (vs. 22% in 2022), while electronics discounts are set to hit 30% (vs. 27%) and apparel at 25% (vs.19%). Other categories with expected notable holiday discounts include sporting goods at 24% (vs. 17%), TVs at 22% (vs. 19%), and furniture & bedding at 19% (vs. 11%).
Cyber Monday set to break records
Adobe Analytics data indicates that Cyber Week – the shopping period including Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday – is expected to drive $37.2 billion in online spending, up 5.4% YoY and representing 16.8% of the holiday season total.
Cyber Monday is expected to remain the season’s and year’s biggest shopping day, driving a record $12 billion in spending, up 6.1% YoY. Black Friday online sales are set to grow by 5.7% YoY to $9.6 billion, with Thanksgiving growing 5.5% YoY to $5.6 billion.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) continues growing
Adobe Analytics expects the flexible buy now, pay later (BNPL) payment method to set new records, driving $17 billion in online holiday spending, up 16.9% YoY and $2.5 billion more than in 2022. BNPL spending is predicted to hit $9.3 billion in November, making it the largest month for the payment method on record.
Cyber Monday is set to be BNPL’s largest day with $782 million in spending, surpassing Cyber Monday 2022’s daily BNPL record of $658 million. An Adobe survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers found that one in five respondents plan to use BNPL to purchase gifts this holiday season.
“Despite an unpredictable economic environment, where consumers face several challenges including rising interest rates, we expect strong e-commerce growth this season on account of record discounts and flexible payment methods,” said Patrick Brown, VP of growth marketing at Adobe. “Buy Now, Pay Later in particular has become increasingly mainstream and will make it easier for shoppers to hit the buy button, especially on mobile devices where over half of online spending will take place.”
Additional Adobe Analytics holiday insights
Adobe anticipates more than half (51.2%) of online spending will take place on mobile devices this holiday season, with mobile spending set to hit a record $113 billion, up 13.7% YoY, with usage peaking on days when consumers are likely with friends and family, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Electronics, apparel, furniture/home goods, groceries and toys are expected to contribute $144.2 billion in spending during the 2023 holiday season, representing more than half of the season’s overall spend ($221.8 billion).
The Amazon Prime Big Deal Days sale (Oct. 10-11) and other promotional events are forecasted to drive early discounting. Prime Big Deal Days is expected to bring in $8.1 billion (up 6.1% YoY). “Despite an unpredictable economic environment, where consumers face several challenges including rising interest rates, we expect strong e-commerce growth this season on account of record discounts and flexible payment methods,” said Patrick Brown, vice president of growth marketing at Adobe. “Buy Now, Pay Later in particular has become increasingly mainstream and will make it easier for shoppers to hit the buy button, especially on mobile devices where over half of online spending will take place.”
Based on Adobe Analytics data, the analysis focuses on commerce transactions online, covering over 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs and 18 product categories. Adobe Analytics is part of Adobe Experience Cloud.