• Retail Dive

Online holiday sales to reach $189B, Adobe says

By Tatiana Walk-Morris

Published Oct. 30, 2020

Dive Brief:

  • This year's online holiday sales are expected to reach $189 billion, a 33% increase from last year, a new report from Adobe predicts. The report projects that this year's holiday online sales could be higher than $2 billion per day between Nov. 1 and Nov. 21 and jump to $3 billion per day between Nov. 22 and Dec. 3. 

  • American consumers are projected to spend $28.1 billion more on their smartphones compared to last year, a 55% spike, and will make up 42% of all online sales, according to the report. Smaller retailers are expected to see a 107% increase in revenue, while larger retailers could get an 84% jump in sales, the report said. 

  • The report predicts that buy online, pick up in-store and curbside pick-up orders will be more than 40% higher than last year. As consumers make last-minute purchases leading up to Christmas, BOPIS could reach more than 50% of all orders at stores with that option, per the report.

Dive Insight:

The 2020 holiday season will likely bring earlier discounts, additional shipping and pickup options, and uncertainty surrounding in-store shopping, John Copeland, head of marketing and customer insights at Adobe, said in a statement. Perhaps the most notable finding is that this year will extend Cyber Week to "Cyber Month," Copeland added. The report projects $56 billion in online sales between Nov. 1 and Nov. 22, a 37% increase from last year. 

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed consumers to shop online, predictions for overall holiday sales growth this year are relatively modest. The International Council of Shopping Centers anticipates that holiday sales will grow 1.9% to $862.2 billion. CBRE similarly forecasts that this holiday season's sales will increase by only 2%, compared to 4.1% of average growth over the past decade. 

Adobe's report builds on previous research indicating that consumers will be more budget-conscious this year. Per its findings, 64% of consumers said they won't pay for faster shipping. Aside from cutting back on shipping costs, a recent report from GlobalData found that U.S. consumers are seeking bargains as employment looks unstable. This year, retailers appear to be offering discounts on items earlier than in previous years, Adobe's research suggests. 

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