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U.S. Online Holiday Sales Expected to Rise 10%: Adobe Index

U.S. online holiday-season sales will hit a record $207 billion, up 10% from a year earlier, Adobe predicted. It sees an 11% gain for global online holiday outlays.

U.S. online holiday sales will hit a record $207 billion from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, rising 10% from last year’s holiday season, Adobe forecasts.

The report from the software giant predicted global online holiday spending of $910 billion, up 11% from 2020.

The data are based on Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, which analyzes direct consumer transactions online.

Adobe said its U.S. analysis covers over 1 trillion visits to retail sites and more than 100 million stock-keeping units, or SKUs, in 18 product categories.

Supply-chain disruptions are having an impact, Adobe said. Compared with the prepandemic period of January 2020, “the prevalence of out-of-stock messages" has more than doubled (up 172%) "going into the holiday season,” it said.

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“Adobe expects it to remain at this level, increasing for certain products throughout the season.”

And that means higher prices. “Adobe expects U.S. consumers will pay 9% more on average during Cyber Week [Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday] this year, compared to the last holiday season,” the company said.

“This is the result of smaller discounts, on top of e-commerce inflation that has persisted through the year. Adobe forecasts discounts will be in the 5% to 25% range across categories this season, compared to a historical average of 10% to 30%.”

Of course, Covid remains in play. “We are entering a second holiday season where the pandemic will dictate the terms,” said Patrick Brown, vice president of growth marketing and insights for Adobe.

“Limited product availability, higher prices, and concerns about shipping delays will drive another surge toward e-commerce, as it provides more flexibility in how and when consumers choose to shop.”