Online Sales Rose 5.9% In October, Driven By Early Holiday Discounts

Early holiday discounts, including Prime Day deals, pushed October online spending up 5.9%, year-over-year, to $76.8 billion, Adobe
reported today.

Adobe Analytics data also found that more shoppers made purchases on their mobile phones, and that more are using buy-now, pay-later plans to manage their spending.

The October data shows that while consumers face challenges such as rising interest rates, high food prices, and the return of student loan payments, “the consumer remains resilient heading into the big holiday season, and are embracing every opportunity to manage their budgets in more efficient ways,” Vivek Pandya, lead analyst, Adobe digital Insights, said in announcing the October results.

The increase in spending also reflects net new demand, Adobe reported, not just higher prices. According to Adobe’s Digital Price Index, which tracks online prices, online prices have fallen consecutively for 14 months, and were down 6% year-over-year in October.

Adobe said last month that it expects overall holiday e-commerce spending to grow by 4.8% to $221.8 billion.

Online spending on mobile devices in October was a record $35.9 billion, up 46.7% year-over-year. Adobe attributed the boost to improved mobile shopping experiences that have made it easier to make purchases on smaller screens.

This year, between January 1 and the end of October, consumers have spent $354.7 billion on mobile devices, up 10.6% compared to the same period last year.

Purchases using buy-now, pay-later plans were up 6% year-over-year in October, at $6.4 billion. Year-to-date, buy-now, pay-later has driven $58.5 billion in online spending, up 14.5% year-over-year.

Adobe reported previously, in its holiday forecast, that it expects buy-now, pay-later purchases will hit a record in November for the most buy now, pay later purchases in a given month, at $9.3 billion.

Early holiday discounts helped drive sales, with the steepest discounts in electronics (up to 12%) and apparel (up to 9%), according to Adobe. Adobe reported discounts of 7% in sporting goods, 6% in appliances, 5% in toys, and 5% in home furnishings.

The electronics discounts boosted sales in that category, with sales of smart home items up 157% and electronics accessories up 109% compared to September.

The Adobe data also shows that consumers began preparing for the holidays by purchasing holiday decor items such as Christmas trees, and ornaments and other decorations. Sales in that category were up 136% over September.

Most holiday forecasts are cautiously optimistic about the season, While the percentage of growth is expected to be lower than last year, and well below the pandemic highs, sales are expected to increase in the low to mid single digits over last year.

The National Retail Federation said last week that it expects sales in November and December to grow by 3 to 4% this year, to more than $957 billion.

Adobe’s report is based on Adobe Analytics data from over 1 trillion visits to U.S retail sites, covering 100 million SKUs and 18 product categories.

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