Market volatility aside, it's still been a pretty jolly season for online retailers.
According to the latest numbers from Adobe Analytics, which tracks holiday shopping starting at Nov. 1, a record $110.6 billion had been spent by the Dec. 11. That represents an increase of 17.8% over 2017, making it the biggest period of online shopping ever in the America. In total, Adobe forecasts that holiday season will reap at least $126 billion in U.S. online sales through Jan. 31.
While a good chunk of overall holiday shopping takes place over Black Friday weekend, Adobe's latest figures don't include what's been called "Panic Saturday" -- the last Saturday before Christmas. That's when shoppers dash out to stores -- or increasingly to their computers and phones -- to snag last-minute gifts on the last Saturday before Christmas.
Surveys suggest that the two main beneficiaries of down-to-the-wire gift panic are physical stores -- and Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report . According to a survey by Teikametrics, rushing to a retail store was still the top option for last minute gifts, with 56% of respondents saying that was their preference. But 40% said buying on Amazon is their top choice for last-minute gifts.
One secret that could be driving this trend is that retailers sneak last-minute deals in the waning hours before Christmas. Adobe Analytics found that popular items like toys, televisions and computers are discounted by 28.2%, 16.3%, 15.9% respectively on "Panic Saturday."
But experts suggest that Amazon shoppers are more confident in driving their shopping down to the wire. Yes, Amazon shares fell 2.4% on Monday as part of the broad market sell-off, but Erik Morton of Commercehub told TheStreet in November that people buying gifts on Amazon believe that their packages will arrive on time.
That means that some consumers are probably pushed shopping well beyond the classic post-Thanksgiving shopping period. "If you're confident that they'll deliver in time, you'll continue to shop throughout the season, and even pull back holiday shopping as close to the holidays, as they can do so confidently," he said.
(This article has been updated.)