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Cyber Days Losing Steam

Holiday Online Spending About Flat With '21 in First 3 Weeks: Adobe

U.S. consumers spent $64.59 billion online in the first three weeks of the November-December holiday season, up 0.1% from the Nov. 1-21 period last year, Adobe emailed Wednesday. “The minor uptick” shows consumers “still have a strong appetite for holiday shopping” despite inflation and rising interest rates, said the analytics firm.

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On par with 2021, the three-week stretch had 12 days in which shoppers spent over $3 billion at e-commerce sites and nine days with a $2 billion-plus spend, Adobe said. There were strong discounts in electronics (22%), computers (14%), appliances (13%) and TVs (13%), Adobe said, and it expects larger price drops in those categories from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. Toy discounts peaked at 30% in the first three weeks of the season, driving sales up 172% vs. the daily average sales in October, it said.

Consumers are looking for new ways to manage their purchases, Adobe said, saying use of the buy now, pay later payment method is up 13% year on year through Nov. 21. “We are beginning to see the impact of earlier holiday deals, as retailers contend with oversupply and a softening spending environment,” said analyst Vivek Pandya.

Adobe forecasts Cyber Week -- Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday -- will generate $34.8 billion in spending online, 2.8% higher than Cyber Week 2021. It expects Monday to be the year’s biggest online shopping day at $11.2 billion, up 5.1% vs. 2021. Other Cyber shopping days are losing prominence, though: Black Friday is forecast to bring in $9 billion, up just 1%, and Adobe expects Thanksgiving online sales to slip a point to $5.1 billion.

Cyber shopping days are losing steam as the holiday sales season stretches out, said eMarketer Tuesday. Though spending from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday continues to grow year on year, the rate is slowing, said analyst Sara Lebow, citing early October shopping events at Amazon, Target and Walmart that pulled demand forward from the traditional tentpole shopping days.

For the Cyber Five shopping days, eMarketer projects spending of $5.5 billion on Thanksgiving, up 1.1%; $9.8 billion on Black Friday (up 3.9%); $5.1 billion on Small Business Saturday (up 3.3%), $5 billion on Cyber Sunday (up 2.3%) and $11.8 billion on Cyber Monday (3.8% higher). For the overall Nov. 1-Dec.31 holiday sales season, eMarketer projects a 12% year-on-year increase in U.S. e-commerce sales to $239.26 billion.