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Online Sales Mostly Flat Ahead of Black Friday, Adobe Says

E-commerce has become an “ubiquitous” part of the holiday shopping experience, Adobe said.

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Dreamstime

E-commerce sales were mostly flat in the first few weeks of November, according to new data from
Adobe
Analytics, indicating that consumers are taking a more cautious approach to their holiday shopping this year.

In the first three weeks of November, consumers spent $64.59 billion online, up 0.1% year over year, Adobe (ticker:
ADBE
) said.

While the figures are not adjusted for inflation, which is up 7.7% year over year, Adobe has previously noted that e-commerce inflation has been nearly flat these last few months. Adobe’s Digital Price Index, which measures online inflation, fell 0.7% in October.

Barron’s previously reported that retailers are bracing for an unpredictable holiday season, where overall spending is expected to be relatively flat when adjusted for inflation. Wednesday’s data seems to reaffirm those predictions.

Hot categories for online shopping include kitchenware, outerwear, and gift cards, Adobe said, adding that there had been nine days so far where shoppers spend over $2 billion in a single day. That highlights how e-commerce has become a “ubiquitous daily activity” especially as holiday deals come earlier and more frequently, the company added.

Indeed, Adobe has already observed strong discounts in toys, electronics, computers, appliances, and televisions. Toy discounts have reached a record high, per Adobe, peaking at 30% off their listed price on average. As a result online sales of toys are up 172% compared with daily average sales in October.

“We are beginning to see the impact of earlier holiday deals, as retailers contend with oversupply and a softening spending environment,” Adobe noted in its report. “E-commerce has remained resilient thus far per Adobe Analytics, a strong start to the season.”

More deals are yet to come, and consumers will likely be quick to seize them. Adobe expects Cyber Week—the five days spanning from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday—to bring in $34.8 billion in online spending, up 2.8% year over year. Cyber Monday alone will bring in $11.2 billion in sales, up 5.1% on a yearly basis. That would be a turnaround from last year, when spending fell. In 2021, consumers spent a total of $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday, down 1.4% from the year before, while Cyber Week spending slipped 1.4% to $33.9 billion.

The company bases its analysis on over a trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, and releases frequent updates to its sales forecasts. Consumer spending online was also flat in October, according to Adobe.

Write to Sabrina Escobar at sabrina.escobar@barrons.com

Credit: marketwatch.com

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