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Holiday online shopping grew by nearly 5% to $222 billion

Holiday online shopping grew by nearly 5% to $222 billion
Holiday online shopping grew by nearly 5% to $222 billion

US consumers spent a new record high of $124 billion on online shopping in November and $99 billion in December. Most of these spikes were driven by Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 

Adobe has released its latest report on the 2023 e-commerce shopping data, showing great interest in online spending during the holiday season. The report covers over a trillion visits to US retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories. It relies on the top 100 internet retailers in the US. 

Discounts drive shopping spree

Adobe finds that most online spending was driven by discounts, including pay options of ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Pay Later.’

“Shoppers found great deals in electronics, where discounts peaked at 31% off the listed price, as well as toys at 28% and apparel at 24%,” states the report. Most of the markdowns were in categories of electronics, like computers, televisions, and appliances. Sporting goods and furniture also showed significant growth compared to the previous year. 

Shopping flexibility 

‘Buy Now’ and  ‘Pay Later’ (BNPL) options are also trendy, hitting an all-time high this year. 

“Contributing $16.6 billion in online spend, up a significant 14% YoY and representing $2.1 billion more than the last holiday season,” states the report. 

In e-commerce history books, November is the most significant month on record for the delayed payment method. Cyber Monday was the most important day on record, with nearly a billion dollars spent on BNPL.  

“In an uncertain demand environment, retailers leaned on discounting and flexible payment methods to entice shoppers this holiday season,” says lead analyst at Adobe, Vivek Pandya. 

“The strategy was effective, driving record spending online during big days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday, and a record 11 days that surpassed $4 billion in daily spend this season.”

What drives e-commerce growth?

Over half of the $222 billion spent online this holiday season was driven by just five categories. 

Electronics, apparel, furniture, groceries, and toys. “These categories have become key growth drivers in the digital economy. Within the electronics category, top sellers this holiday season included TVs, smart speakers, tablets, Bluetooth headphones, and smartwatches. 

In apparel, pajamas, sneakers, and cold weather clothing (fleeces, sweatshirts, base layers) were top sellers.”

Mobile shopping 

Adobe has noted a sharp increase in online sales coming through on smartphones. It accounts for more than half of desktop online shopping. 

“Mobile shopping was highest on Christmas Day, driving 63% of online sales (61% in 2022),” finds the report. 

It is found that while consumers spend time with family and friends during the festive season, they use smartphones to complete deals or redeem gift cards. 

NOW READ: Surge in e-commerce mobile shopping expected in 2024

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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