Online U.S. holiday retail shopping will grow 10% in 2021 to $207 billion after soaring 33% a year ago during the worst of the pandemic, a new study predicts.
Published this morning by
the study is based on a combination of more than 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites that run the company’s e-commerce software, and a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers.
It underscores that online retailing continues to make gains despite the reopening of physical stores this year as the Covid-19 pandemic eases. Adobe says 2021 online holiday shopping growth could range between 5% and 15%, depending on trends in Covid-19 cases and related store shutdowns as well as macroeconomic factors.
Adobe also sees inflation crimping consumer buying power this year. The study projects that consumers will pay 9% more during the Cyber Week period on average for comparable goods than a year ago. Adobe notes that online prices on average have increased for 16 consecutive months.
This year’s shopping season–the period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31–will be spread out more evenly than in past years, the study finds. Adobe sees sales on Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend) of $11.3 billion, up 4% from a year ago. It forecasts Black Friday sales (the Friday after Thanksgiving) of $9.5 billion, up 5%, and sales on Thanksgiving Day itself of $5.4 billion, up 6%.
Adobe expects consumers to see a “plague” of out-of-stock messages this year, as many retailers struggle with ongoing supply chain constraints. Adobe reports that out-of-stock messages are up 172% this year from the prepandemic period.
There may be less discounting this year. Adobe forecasts discounts will range from 5% to 25%, down from a historic range of 10% to 30%. It sees the biggest discounts in the PC and electronics categories, with the smallest discounts in furniture and tools.
Adobe also took a look at global retailing during the holiday season and predicts it will increase 11% to $910 billion.
And the company made some predictions on this year’s most popular gifts:
- Toys: Tamagotchi Pix, Pop Fidget, Got2Glow Fairy Finder, Baby Yoda, Gabby’s Dollhouse
- Gaming Hardware: Nintendo Switch OLED, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, Stream Deck from Elgato
- Gaming Software: Metroid Dread, Battlefield 2042, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, Halo Infinite, FIFA 22
- Others: Apple AirPods Max, smart mugs, Instant Pot air fryers, smart water bottles, drones, record players
Write to Eric J. Savitz at firstname.lastname@example.org