US Online Spending Has Surged 20% This Month in Sign of Early Shopping

Online consumer spending jumped 20 percent this month through Tuesday in a sign that holiday shopping has started early, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.

Purchases totalled $72.2 billion during the period and toys were a key driver, Adobe said in a report released Wednesday on e-commerce trends in the US Underscoring widespread shortages in supply, out-of-stock messages have more than tripled compared with November 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.

“This surging demand also highlights that even with persistent out-of-stock messages, shoppers are getting comfortable with buying something that may not have been at the top of their list,” Adobe said.

Among the other highlights of the report:

  • Consumers are expected to spend between $5.1 billion and $5.9 billion online Thursday, which is Thanksgiving Day in the US. That would be a record.
  • Cyber Monday, which falls on Nov. 29, will be the year’s biggest online shopping day, with estimated spending of $11.3 billion — which would also be an all-time high. From Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, online sales are expected rise 10 percent from last year to total $207 billion.
  • In addition to toys, which have been more heavily discounted than last year, hot sellers range from video games to groceries to books. Shoppers are snapping up hoverboards, Nerf toys, and PlayStation 5 gaming consoles.
  • Discounts are shallower than last year in areas such as apparel, appliances, televisions, computers and sporting goods. With the overall rate of inflation rising, shoppers should take note: Adobe says Nov. 26 will have the best deals for furniture and bedding, Nov. 27 for electronics and Nov. 28 for clothes.
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By Brendan Case

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