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Record-Breaking Online Holiday Spending Hits $222.1 Billion, According to Adobe Analytics

In a surge of festive spending, online holiday purchases skyrocketed by nearly 5%, reaching a staggering $222.1 billion in November and December, as reported by Adobe Analytics. The data encompassed over 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail websites, tracking 100 million unique items across 18 product categories.

This notable 4.9% year-over-year increase set a new record for e-commerce during the holiday season, driven by consumers capitalizing on enticing discounts and increasingly relying on buy now, pay later options. However, it’s essential to note that Adobe’s figures solely represent online spending and may not capture whether consumers stretched their budgets beyond affordability.

The surge in online spending was predominantly fueled by increased transactions rather than elevated prices, particularly notable in product categories such as electronics. E-commerce prices experienced a continuous decline, down 5.3% year over year in December, according to Adobe’s Digital Price Index.

While strong online holiday sales could forecast positive outcomes for major retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Target, Macy’s, and others, the true impact will become clearer during fourth-quarter earnings reports in February.

Despite the buoyant holiday season, caution is warranted as robust spending during the peak season doesn’t necessarily translate to sustained consumer spending in the new year. Some consumers may face financial constraints post-holidays, potentially leading to reduced spending in the coming months.

Discount levels during the holiday season reached unprecedented heights, with record-breaking peaks in categories such as electronics and apparel. Cyber Week, marked by compelling deals, accounted for $38 billion of online holiday sales, representing nearly one-fifth of total spending during November and December.

Buy now, pay later options gained popularity, contributing $16.6 billion in online spending during the holiday season—a notable 14% increase from the previous year. This financing option, offered by companies like Affirm and Klarna, allows shoppers to manage purchases through smaller, staggered payments.

While Adobe’s findings provide a snapshot of the online retail landscape, other reports, such as Mastercard SpendingPulse, indicate a 3.1% year-over-year increase in U.S. retail sales during the holiday season (excluding automotive sales). This growth is attributed to a robust job market and easing inflation, instilling confidence in consumers.

As the retail landscape evolves, stay tuned for exclusive deals from DTG, and consider signing up on our wholesale portal to stay updated on the latest offerings. Keep your retail game strong with DTG’s amazing deals!


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