Online shoppers are spending early and often as the days tick down to the big Thanksgiving holiday weekend and beyond.
In October, consumers spent $76.8 billion online. That’s up 5.9% year over year. It also represents $4.3 billion more than the year prior ($72.5 billion spent in October 2022), according to Adobe Analytics.
Online shoppers start holiday sales in October
And online shoppers’ October spending also represents a significant 13.6% increase compared to the month prior (September 2023). Retailers enticed shoppers with early discounts offered during promotional events including the second Prime Day, as well as flexible payment methods such as buy now, pay later (BNPL). Year to date (January 2023 to October 2023), consumers have spent a total of $759 billion online. That’s up 4.3% year over year, according to Adobe Analytics.
Early holiday discounts in October caught the attention of shoppers, particularly in categories including electronics and apparel, where discounts have been as high as 12% and 9%, respectively.
Online shoppers have also seen good deals on sporting goods (7%) in October. Meanwhile, they observed more modest discounts in categories including appliances (6%), toys (5%) and home furniture (5%).
Looking ahead, Cyber Week will again have the best deals this holiday season, with the deepest discounts expected to take place during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Adobe says. The five-day period is also known as the Cyber 5.
“We continue to experience a challenging economic picture, where increasing costs for consumers has been seen across rising interest rates, inflation in food prices, resuming student loan repayments, and more,” says Vivek Pandya, lead analyst, Adobe Digital Insights. “Despite the uncertainty in the macro-environment, Adobe Analytics data has shown that the consumer remains resilient heading into the big holiday season and are embracing every opportunity to manage their budgets in more efficient ways.”
Key metrics from online shoppers in October
Mobile sets new records
Online shoppers’ spending via mobile devices in October 2023 hit a record $35.9 billion. That’s up 46.7% year over year. Improved mobile shopping experiences have made it easier and more intuitive for consumers to hit buy on smaller screens.
In October 2023, top-selling toys online included:
- Barbie toys
- Art sets
- Action figures
- Stuffed/plush toys
Top electronics included:
- Bluetooth headphones
- Smart home and streaming devices
- Kid’s tablets
- Smart watches
Additionally, video gaming devices and games such as the PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and Madden 24 have been hot sellers.
Curbside pickup remains steady
In October 2023, this fulfillment method accounted for 18% of orders (for retailers who offered the service). This is up slightly from the 17% share in October 2022. Adobe expects usage of curbside pickup will increase in December, as consumers leverage it to cut back on shipping costs and avoid shipping delays when making last-minute purchases, Adobe says.
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