According to Adobe Analytics, online holiday sales in the USA are expected to hit $221.8 billion this holiday shopping season (Nov. 1 to Dec. 31), representing 4.8% growth year-over-year (YoY).
Adobe has recently released its online shopping forecast for the 2023 holiday season, namely, the period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2023. The analytics firm expects US online holiday sales to reach $221.8 billion this year, growing by almost 5% compared to 2022.
The main drivers of the robust growth are unprecedented discount rates and the growing popularity of buy now pay later (BNPL) payment methods. It is expected to bring out $17 billion in online spending (up 16.9% vs. $14.5 billion in 2022). Besides, Adobe expects shopping on mobile devices to hit a major milestone this holiday season, surpassing desktop sales and driving over half (51.2%) of all online spending this November-December period.
“Despite an unpredictable economic environment, where consumers face several challenges including rising interest rates, we expect strong e-commerce growth this season on account of record discounts and flexible payment methods. Buy Now, Pay Later in particular has become increasingly mainstream and will make it easier for shoppers to hit the buy button, especially on mobile devices where over half of online spending will take place.”
Patrick Brown, vice president of growth marketing at Adobe
Cyber Week – the general name for a shopping period including Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales – is expected to drive $37.2 billion in online spending this year. That represents a 5.4% YoY growth and a 16.8% share of the total holiday season sales volume.
Adobe further expects Cyber Monday to remain the season’s and year’s biggest shopping day. By the firm’s estimations, it could accumulate a record $12 billion in spending, up 6.1% YoY. At the same time, Black Friday online sales are forecast to grow by 5.7% YoY to $9.6 billion, while the Thanksgiving shopping spree might grow as much as 5.5% YoY to $5.6 billion.
When we speak of record discounts, Adobe estimates them to reach up to 35% off listed prices this holiday season. This unprecedented generosity of retailers will be driven by an uncertain spending environment and consumers’ budgets trimmed by rising living costs.
Among the 18 product categories tracked by Adobe, toys, electronics and apparel are expected to offer the biggest 35% deals, while electronics discounts are set to hit 30%. The apparel segment is also expected to offer significant 25% discounts (vs. 19% in 2022). Other categories with notable discounts include sporting goods (24% vs. 10% last year), TVs at 22% (vs. 17%) and furniture/bedding at 19% (vs. 8% in 2022).
Although Cyber Week is expected to offer the best shopping deals, consumers should start looking for bargains as early as mid-October. Even before the official holiday shopping season, discounts are expected to reach decent levels of 18%. Deals as high as 20% can also be found in early November, before Cyber Week.
As for flexible payment methods, Adobe expects BNPL spending to hit $9.3 billion in November, potentially becoming the largest month on record. Cyber Monday is forecast to be BNPL’s largest day with $782 million in spending, compared to its 2022 daily record of $658 million.
We shall remind you that in 2022, Americans spent a record $212B on online holiday shopping, despite the economic downturn, as record-setting discounts helped offset the negative impact of high inflation.