E-commerce holiday sales

Online Holiday Sales Expected to Reach $200 Billion, Says Adobe

According to Adobe Analytics’ latest forecast, U.S. online holiday sales this year are expected to reach $189 billion. This represents a record-breaking year-over-year (YoY) increase of 33%. The total revenue could go even higher, exceeding $200 billion, if brick-and-mortar stores are forced to close down again to minimize the spread of COVID-19 or if consumers receive the second round of stimulus payments by the government. 

Uncertainty in Spending

The data for expected holiday spending is highly conflicting. For instance, a survey from Feedvisor reveals that a large percentage of U.S. consumers will spend the same amount as they did in 2019. Contrarily, other surveys such as that from Suzy assert that only a fraction of consumers will spend the same or more than they did last year.

The firm’s latest shopping survey found that more than 50% of consumers are either unsure about how much they will spend or will spend less – only 13% say that they are certain that they would spend more.

Lastly, 26% of consumers also say that the election result will determine their holiday spending.

Major Increases for Cyber Week

Adobe predicts that the Thanksgiving week will witness major revenue increases from 2019, especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, it expects that instead of Cyber Week, the entire months of November and December will turn into Cyber Months this year.

Black Friday is forecasted to generate $10 billion in online sales, representing a 39% year-on-year growth. Due to the pandemic, most of the stores are going to go online, increasing online shopping. Moreover, several retailers and malls, including Target, Walmart, JC Penny, and Kohl’s, will remain closed on Thanksgiving this year.

Overall, Cyber Monday is expected to remain the biggest online shopping event of the year, generating $12.7 billion in sales, a 35% increase from last year.

Increase in BOPIS and Curbside Pickup

Due to in-store shopping concerns, BOPIS (buy online pickup in-store), along with curbside pickup, will remain a popular choice.

Adobe says that retailers offering BOPIS will get 40% more orders this year compared to last year. In September, a consumer survey conducted by Adobe reveals that 30% of online buyers prefer BOPIS or curbside pickup as opposed to home delivery.  

High Demand for Affordable and Free Shipping Options

64% of consumers are not willing to pay for expedited shipping this year. This is a signal to retailers to communicate free shipping cut-off dates early.

Adobe predicts that retailers will provide the lowest-cost shipping options on the day following Cyber Monday. Moreover, since there will be fewer family and friends gathering this year, U.S. consumers are predicted to spend 18% more on presents delivered from the retailer directly to people, they would otherwise meet personally.

Last Few Words

Keeping Adobe’s online holiday sales predictions in mind, retailers need to use every available marketing tool to get advantage this year. This includes shipping incentives, discounts, BOPIS, and Google Shopping. For local retailers, Google My Business optimization will play a major role in success.