A person online shopping for holiday gifts.

Unpacking Adobe’s Shopping Predictions for the Holiday Season

Ryan Faist

Ryan Faist, Channel Key

November 17, 2023

Adobe’s annual holiday shopping forecast is one of the most respected reports detailing consumer trends for the final two months of the calendar year. The forecast is based on Adobe’s analysis of over 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories. For your convenience, Channel Key has summarized the most important takeaways from this year’s report to help your brand maximize sales during the 2023 holiday season.

U.S. Online Holiday Sales Will Set a Record

Adobe expects U.S. online holiday sales to reach $221.8 billion (Nov. 1 to Dec. 31). This is a 4% increase from last year, generating $211.7 billion online, a 3.5% YoY growth. Cyber Week (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) is expected to drive $37.2 billion in online spending, up 5.4% YoY and accounting for 16.8% of the holiday season. According to Adobe, Cyber Monday will be the biggest shopping day of the holiday season, generating a record $12 billion in spending, up 6.1% from last year. Thanksgiving and Black Friday online sales are expected to reach $5.7 and $9.6 billion, respectively.

Buy Now, Pay Later Will Continue Growing

Adobe forecasts Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) will generate $17 billion this season, a 16.9% increase over last year. The largest BNPL day will be Cyber Monday, with an estimated $782 million in spending, surpassing last year’s record of $658 million. Adobe attributes the rise in BNPL to continued economic uncertainty, including the rising cost of living.

Cyber Week Will See Record Discounts

Retailers will offer record discounts this holiday season – especially during Cyber Week. According to Adobe, the steepest discounts for TVs will be Black Friday, while Saturday (Nov. 25) will have the best deals for computers. The deepest discounts for toys and apparel will be on Sunday (Nov. 26), and Cyber Monday (Nov. 27) will have the best deals for electronics and furniture.

Mobile Shopping will Surpass Desktop for the First Time

For the first time, more than half of this year’s holiday spending will take place on mobile devices. Adobe credits this milestone to improved small screen shopping experiences. Mobile spending is set to hit a record $113 billion, up 13% YoY. Mobile shopping will peak on days that consumers will likely spend with family, including Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Five Categories Will Account for Half of All Online Holiday Sales

Electronics, apparel, furniture/home goods, groceries, and toys will account for more than half of all online spending this holiday season. The following is a breakdown of Adobe’s forecast for each of the top five categories:

  • Electronics: $49.9 billion (+3.4% YoY)
  • Furniture/Home Goods: $26.6 billion (+4.7% YoY)
  • Groceries: $18.9 billion (+10.9% YoY)
  • Toys at $7.8 billion (+5.4% YoY)
  • Apparel $41 billion (-0.7% YoY)

Channel Key Takeaway

According to Adobe’s online shopping forecast, Cyber Week will account for 16.8% of the entire holiday season’s revenue. This increase in traffic will drive advertising costs up as brands compete to capture sales. While the week between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday will generate the most sales volume, it’s important to continue your holiday sales momentum throughout December. Note which advertising campaigns and deals perform best during Cyber Week and use these insights to drive sales until the end of the holiday shopping season.

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