Adobe Analytics - Holiday Season Online Shopping Data - Early Sales - October

Adobe Early Sales Data Shows Hope for Online Sales This Holiday Season


Adobe released its first set of sales data covering the 2022 holiday season, indicating early hope for online retailers despite inflationary concerns that many thought might impact gift shopping this year.

The data, powered by Adobe Analytics, showed that consumers spent $72.2 billion online in October, 10.9% more than in September. But more importantly, it is on par compared to last year in October, when shoppers spent $72.4 billion in October of 2021.

Adobe said this is likely due to online retailers offering early bargains to grab consumers’ attention with deep discounts, especially in electronics and toys, where the data showed deep discounts reached as much as 17% and 15%, respectively.

Top-selling toys in October included Squishmallows, Roblox figurines, Pokémon card games, and LOL Surprise dolls.

While in electronics and gaming devices, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series 5, Nintendo Switch, and Apple products (iPhone, Watch, and AirPods) led the way. In addition, there was also a strong demand for air fryers, eReaders, and mini-fridges.

Shoppers also found good values on computers with discounts reaching 10%, but bargains were more modest in categories like televisions (4%), sporting goods (3%), and furniture (2%).

“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 of Adobe Digital Insights.

“With over $72 billion spent online in October, eCommerce demand has shown itself to be durable and resilient, in spite of a challenging macroeconomic environment.

The good news for online merchants is that while inflation has hit the pocketbooks of consumers, online spending has continued to expand this year.

Year-to-date (January 2022 – October 2022), online shoppers’ spending has hit a total of $727 billion, an increase of 6.9% year-over-year (YoY).

Additional Adobe Analytics Insights

Consumers are still buying holiday décor this year with sales up 189% compared to daily average sales in August.

Outerwear apparel is also showing strength already where sales have been rising 142% of late.

Buying groceries online continues to gain traction as sales are up 27.9% on a YoY basis and Adobe expects Thanksgiving meals to help continue to grow this category further.

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) continues to expand, but there is a definitive slowdown in growth. In October, revenue share from BNPL was up just 1% YoY, and in the first nine months of 2022, revenue share rose only 5% YoY.

Adobe puts the blame on slow growth in BNPL on multiple factors, from macroeconomics slowing consumer spending to BNPL losing its appeal as shoppers start to question the value of these programs.

Curbside pickup, a major growth segment for retailers that offered this service after the COVID-19 pandemic influenced shopping behavior, appears to be slowing as well.

In October, curbside pickup accounted for 17% of orders (when offered), down 24% YoY. Adobe does believe curbside pickup will see a resurgence in December as shoppers seek to avoid shipping delays.

In another Adobe analysis of online sales data, the company found that online inflation slowed in October 0.7% YoY, the second consecutive month prices have fallen.

This decline appears to have been led by categories with the largest discounts in early holiday deals; electronics, toys, and computers.

Still, in a month-over-month comparison (October vs September 2022), overall online prices continued to climb 0.3%, the inflation data showed, which appears to be related to grocery prices that continued to climb (14% YoY).

Holiday Season Deals May Prove Pivotal to Sales

The bottom line seems to be that shoppers are willing to spend money on holiday gifts, but this year, they may seek deeper discounts than before.

Adobe’s data doesn’t analyze profitability, so online merchants and sellers will need to work on strategies to offer good bargains, while also trying to maintain margins.

That will be the biggest challenge for the holiday season in 2022.

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