Holiday Season 2021 Shopping Data Thanksgiving Day

Adobe Data Shows Thanksgiving Day Online Sales Hit Low End of Expectations

This year we are providing updates from the Adobe Digital Economy Index on the big shopping weekend, which covers data from Thursday Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday.

Adobe’s data provides a comprehensive view of eCommerce in the US by analyzing direct consumer transactions online, covering one trillion visits to US retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories.

While this data is mostly from the big retail sites, we believe it provides valuable insight into shopping trends and consumer behavior to small online merchants and marketplace sellers.

On Thanksgiving Day, consumers spent $5.1 billion online, which came in at the low end of Adobe’s prediction. Today on Black Friday, online shoppers are expected to spend between $8.8 billion and $9.6 billion.

Despite Thanksgiving Day being on the lower end, Adobe is affirming its prediction that online sales will hit $207 billion this holiday shopping season (Nov. 1 to Dec. 31), a 10% increase YoY, setting a record.

“Today, consumers will see deeper discounts and more items in stock as retailers release their best deals of the season. Popular products including computers, apparel, appliances and sporting goods are already seeing strong discounts this morning, so today is an excellent day to dig in on your holiday shopping.”

Taylor Schreiner, Director, Adobe Digital Insights

 Additional Insights from Adobe Digital Economy Index

  • Retailers shift marketing focus to in-stock items: Yesterday the prevalence of out-of-stock messages dropped to the lowest levels since June, as retailers became deliberate with their marketing efforts to drive consumers to products that are in stock. 
    • Share of out-of-stock messages dropped 8% compared to Thursday of last week. Despite these efforts out of stock messages are still +167% higher than they were before the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020.
    • Electronics (including video games consoles, headphones, etc) has the highest out-of-stock levels currently, followed by home & garden products, personal care products, baby & toddler products, and housekeeping supplies.
  • Biggest Black Friday discounts: Consumers can expect discounts on Toys (-22%), Apparel (-16), Computers (-15%), Appliances (-9%), Sporting goods (-9%), and overall electronics (-12%) – as well as Furniture & Bedding (-4%) and Tools (-2%), two categories that had low to no discounts throughout the season. 
    • Best days to shop for the remainder of Cyber Week: Small Business Saturday will offer best deals on Electronics and Appliances. Sunday will see heavy discounts for Sporting Goods and Apparel, while Cyber Monday will offer the biggest price drops on TVs. 
  • Top categories on Thanksgiving Day: Traditional holiday gift categories including Toys (+527% over pre-holiday levels of September) and Video Games (+327%) performed well. Jewelry sales were spurred by Charms and Earrings (+300% and +207%, respectively). 
  • Curbside pickup remains popular: On Thanksgiving Day, curbside pickup was used in 21% of all online orders (for retailers who offer the service). Adobe expects a similar number of consumers to opt for convenience and contactless shopping today.
  • Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL): In recent weeks, growth for the consumer trend has slowed; however, so far this month BNPL revenue is up 427% over pre-pandemic levels (Nov 2019), with orders up 445%.

In addition to these summaries we will publish over this busy holiday shopping weekend, Adobe also provides live updates on this weekend’s online sales here.

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