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Adobe: Online holiday spending is breaking all records

With several shopping days left before Christmas, online sales have already broken all previous records.

Based on Adobe Analytics data, $110.6 billion was spent online by the end of December 19th (since Nov. 1) — an increase of 17.8% year-over year — making it the biggest online shopping period of all time in the U.S. and beating last year’s record of $93.9 billion by $16.7 billion. The top states by basket size were Wyoming, Alaska, California, Montana, and Washington.

Mobile transactions accounted for total $33.3 billion of sales, representing the highest ever with a year-over-year growth of 57.0%. It is the first holiday season with over half of visits (58.3%) coming from mobile devices, according to Adobe.

Shoppers continue to opt for the convenience of click-and-collect as a way to reduce holiday shopping stress and avoid waiting in long lines. “Buy Online Pick Up In-Store is up 47% year-over-year, making it the biggest year of BOPIS on record.

Adobe forecasts that the holiday season (November 1 to December 31) will see at least $126 billion in total US online retail sales.

Here are some additional insights based on Adobe Analytics data:

• Top States by Order Value: Weather conditions notwithstanding, Wyoming ($169), Alaska ($164), California ($162), Montana ($152), and Washington ($151) had the largest average orders by dollar value. Higher shipping costs for Alaska likely drove shoppers to consolidate orders to save on shipping fees.

• Discounts: The last Saturday before Christmas will feature some of the best deals for computers. Toys, televisions and computers are starting to see prices slowly returning to normal levels, but are still heavily discounted, at 28.2%, 16.3%, 15.9% respectively. Adobe noted that there have been much steeper discounts on toys this year, as retailers jockey to fill the void in the toys market left by the closure of Toys “R” Us and other industry shift.

• Out-of-Stock Levels: Out-of-stock messages are trending up, reaching 2.5% of product page visits so far this season. This cost retailers up to $2.9 billion in potential sales and underscores an opportunity for retailers to further optimize their inventory management to deliver better endless aisle experiences.

• Main Sales Drivers: Direct website traffic ranked highest for driving revenue at 27% share of sales (up 1.5% year-over-year), followed by paid search at 24.8% (up 4.5%), natural search at 20.9% (down 3.1%), and email at 19.7% (no change). Social media continued to have minimal impact on online sales, at a 1.5% share.
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