Inflation fuels holiday online sales to record $204 billion: Adobe
One worker transports boxes of merchandise to be scanned by Amazon and then sent to delivery trucks. This was Cyber Monday in Robbinsville (New Jersey), November 29, 2021.
Mike Segar | Reuters
Adobe Analytics reported Wednesday that online sales rose almost 9% to $204.5 billion during the holiday season. This was due to consumers opening up their pockets to buy gifts for friends, family and themselves.
Adobe said that the increase in sales is partly due to higher prices for goods, from clothing to grocery to appliances. The company analyzes over 1 trillion visits to retail websites.
Comparatively to the previous year, online prices rose 3.1% and 0.8% respectively in December. Adobe reported that December marked the 20th consecutive monthly increase in online inflation, compared to previous years. This follows an unprecedented 3.5% year-over–year price spike in November.
Vivek Paandya (lead analyst, Adobe Digital Insights), said that while it is a significant contributor to growth, “it’s not the whole of the growth.” There is a certain level of innate growth in retail sales, and the reason for this inflation we see it as one of our explanatory factors.
According to him, consumers are also buying more high-end products, like jewellery, which may be contributing to retail sales growth.
If there were fewer items available online, sales could have increased even more. Recently, retailers have faced supply chain challenges that caused delays to merchandise shipments on key shopping days. Also, companies are struggling to find the right way of working. another surgeIn CovidThe highly contagious Omicron variant is responsible for many cases of illness in the United States. that has left many of their workers sick and on the sidelines.
Apparel businesses LululemonAnd Abercrombie & FitchThis week, they said that fiscal fourth-quarter sales will come in lowerThese constraints have made it possible to achieve more than was previously anticipated. Urban OutfittersYou said it struggled to keep an assortment of home goods in stockIt may use air freight for clothing imported from overseas.
Adobe reports that consumers saw over 6 billion out of stock messages on retailer’s websites in the holiday season, which ran from November 1 through December 31. Adobe reported that the holiday season saw a rise of 10% compared to year-ago and an astounding 253% increase compared to 2019.
Yet, out-of stock messages may have just driven consumers to search for sought-after products on other sites.
Online shopping offers a lot more choice. If an item is out of stock, you can always open another browser window and view another website,” stated Pandya.
Salesforce also found that holiday inventory levels of retailers fell 2% in comparison to 2020 levels, due to supply chain problems.
Retailers faced increased prices for all things, from transport to labor, which meant that discounts were less common this holiday season. Adobe discovered that electronics saw an average markdown of 8% as compared to 21% for 2020. Sporting goods saw a 6% discount, as opposed to 14% last year. However, apparel and toys saw greater consumer promotions.
This holiday season, the shopping habits of shoppers also changed. Black Friday-type sales were promoted as early as October by retail outlets in an effort to increase sales and reduce the chance of consumers buying last-minute presents.
Adobe reported that sales online increased 19.2% in the week leading to Thanksgiving. This was a 9.2% increase from November 1 through Nov. 24. It said that sales dropped 1.4% between Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving. The web sales grew 5.6% between Nov. 30 and Dec. 31 compared to previous-year levels. This was due to procrastinators looking for last-minute solutions, while shoppers used gift cards in days following Christmas.
Some consumers began to shop in October, but some started earlier. Placer.ai’s data revealed that visits were at Best BuyThe U.S. locations experienced a 10.2% increase in February compared to 2019, while the U.S. rose 16.7%. TargetAnd it jumped 14.7% Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Meantime, Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving — has been losing its luster as a day for shoppers to flock to malls before sunrise in search of doorbusters.
Black Friday traffic at department stores was down across all places, compared to 2019. Traffic Macy’sVisitors to the site decreased 18% NordstromIt said that traffic to Neiman Marcus was down 18.6%. At 20.3%, traffic to Neiman Marcus fell Kohl’sAccording to Placer.ai, traffic dropped 23.1% while Dillard visited less sites. Visits were also down 27.3%
On Friday, the highly-anticipated final holiday sales report of The National Retail Federation will be released by the industry’s most prominent trade organization.