Online spending hit $64.59 billion for the first three weeks in November, with sales topping $2 billion in a single day nine times during that period, according to Adobe
The amount spent was essentially flat compared to the same period last year, rising only 0.1%, according to Adobe. But Adobe views the fact that spending kept pace with the pandemic-boosted levels of 2021 as a sign that consumers are heading into the biggest shopping period of the year in the mood to spend.
The November data shows that “despite a challenging spending environment”, with persistent inflation and rising interest rates, “consumers still have a strong appetite for holiday shopping, Adobe said in releasing the data.
Vivek Pandya, lead analyst, Adobe Digital Insights, called the first three weeks of November “a strong start to the season as we look towards Cyber Monday, which is expected to set new records for online shopping.”
Pandya noted, however, that retailers have been using discounts as a way to encourage consumers to shop.
“We are beginning to see the impact of earlier holiday deals, as retailers contend with oversupply and a softening spending environment,” he said.
Toy discounts hit s record high, peaking at 30% off listed price, during the November 1-21 period. The level of those discounts, Adobe said, meant shoppers didn’t have to wait until the Black Friday-Cyber Monday period to get the best deals. Consumers responded to those price cuts by driving up online toy sales by 172% in November compared to October.
Strong discounting also occurred in other categories, including electronics (22% off list price), appliances (13%) and televisions (13%). Adobe, however, expects discounts in those categories will be deeper during Cyber Week, the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
Adobe is expecting that Cyber Week will generate $34.8 billion in online spending, up 2.8% year-over-year. It expect Cyber Week to account for 16.3% of November-December spending.
Adobe is forecasting that Cyber Monday will once again be the year’s biggest online shopping day, generating a record $11.2 billion in sales, up 5.1% year-over-year.
Other Cyber Week days, however, are losing ground as online shopping spreads out more over the two months of the holiday season, Adobe reported. Black Friday is expected to see $9 billion in online sales, up 1% year-over-year, while Thanksgiving Day is expected to be down 1% year-over-year, at $5.1 billion.
Adobe last month said it expects online sales in November and December to hit $209.7 billion this year, up 2.5%, a much smaller increase than last year, when sales rose 8.6%, and dramatically below 2020, when they jumped 32.2%
Adobe’s report is based on analysis of over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, covering 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories. Adobe will be updating its Holiday Shopping Trends and Insights report throughout the season