Online shopping considerably increased this holiday season despite economic downturn, as record-setting discounts helped offset the negative impact of high inflation
Adobe Analytics released a report revealing that US consumers spent a record $211.7 billion online shopping between November 1 and December 31. The number shows a robust 3.5% increase from the same period of 2021, despite the rising living costs and high inflation.
Although the figures are not adjusted for inflation, Adobe stated that the growth was driven by increasing demand rather than higher prices. The study found that huge discounts contributed to consumers’ purchasing power, as online prices have been falling year-over-year since September.
The price reductions this year hit record levels. Thus, retailers sold toys down 34% from listed prices, compared to 19% discounts seen in the 2021 holiday season. Discounts in electronics sector hit 25%, compared to 8% in 2021. Significant discounts were also registered in computers (20%), apparel (19%), television (17%) and appliances (16%) segments.
Record sale levels helped US consumers sustain discretionary spending, while they are still dealing with elevated prices for daily necessities e.g. food, gas, and rent.
Traditionally, online shopping demand spiked for toys, video games and apparel during this holiday season. Top sellers included Legos, Hot Wheels, Paw Patrols and LOL Surprise.
At the same time, Mastercard Spending Pulse found that US retail sales, excluding the automotive industry, increased 7.6% year-over-year in the peak shopping period from November 1 through December 24. However, the given figure is not adjusted for inflation, which rose 7.1% YoY in November.