Adobe Analytics forecasts Black Friday e-commerce sales between $8.8 billion and $9.6 billion, though the group says the pull of major shopping days is starting to fall.
Shoppers spent $5.1 billion on Thanksgiving Day, the low end of the expected range of $5.1 billion to $5.4 billion. Still, shoppers spent an average of $3.5 million per minute.
“In the midst of a holiday shopping season characterized by inflation, weaker discounts, and widespread product shortages, it’s noteworthy that U.S. online spending has already racked up over $75 billion to date in November,” said Taylor Schreiner, director at Adobe Digital Insights.
“However, even major shopping days like Thanksgiving Day are beginning to see their growth wane compared to previous years as consumers opt to open their wallets earlier and shop on their terms outside of the historically promoted, blockbuster sales days.”
Retailers have encouraged shoppers to tackle their wish lists early this year, with advanced Black Friday deals and other discounts launching earlier this month.
However, with the retail landscape in tumult, shoppers may find that the typical deep discounts are scarce. Adobe
says toys, apparel, and computers were among the items with the deepest discounts on Black Friday.
“During our mall and off-mall store checks, we observed the lowest level of clearance goods in five years or more, which we believe is fueled by consumer demand, supply constraints, a new apparel and going-out cycle, and strong momentum for both gift giving and receiving,” wrote Cowen analysts in a Black Friday note.
Cowen forecasts holiday sales increases of up to 13% year-over-year due to the lower promotional levels.
“We believe earlier shopping is especially prudent for retailers given current inventory and supply chain headwinds that could drive delayed shipping deliveries if consumers wait until the last minute,” the note said.
“Additionally, the earliness also speaks to pent-up demand, in our view, as holiday social gatherings will likely be more normalized on improving COVID-19 restrictions this year.”
Edge by Ascential, a data and services provider to consumer companies and retailers, says it has seen a spike in searches for “ugly Christmas sweaters” as holiday parties make a comeback this year.
Even with the earlier shift in holiday shopping and supply-chain problems, shoppers are eager to spend.
“Consumers clearly got the memo about supply chain issues and have started their holiday shopping early,” said Rob Garf, vice president of retail at Salesforce
in a statement.
“Despite higher prices and fewer discounts, people are excited to splurge on experiential categories like outdoors, entertainment, and luxury as we kick off Cyber Week. Shoppers are scooping up hot holiday gifts before they’re out of stock.”
took a closer look at its 1.7 million-plus independent and direct-to-consumer businesses and found the average cart in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day totaled $105.93, up from $90.40 last year.
Adobe says retailers are focusing on in-stock items as out-of-stocks soar. Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, Adobe found that out-of-stock messages were up 227% for the month of November. The number of out-of-stock messages fell 8% on Thanksgiving, compared to the previous Thursday, though they were still up 167% compared to January 2020.
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Adobe expects holiday season online sales to reach $207 billion, up 10% year-over-year and a new record.
The National Retail Federation forecasts total sales of $843.4 billion and $859 billion for the holiday season, also a record.
The Amplify Online Retail ETF
has dropped 11.2% for the year to date. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF
has gained 50.3%. And the benchmark S&P 500 index
has rallied 22.8% for the period.