November online spending up only 0.1% heading into Black Friday

Online shoppers spent $64.59 billion for the first three weeks in November — a 0.1% increase from the same period last year, according to Adobe Analytics data released today. During that time there were nine days with sales of more than $2 billion.

A silver lining. Adobe says the fact that spending hasn’t dropped from 2021’s pandemic-boosted levels indicates consumers are heading into the holiday shopping season in the mood to spend. “Ecommerce has remained resilient thus far per Adobe Analytics, a strong start to the season,” the report said.

Total sales expected to rise. The company said it expects total online sales for November and December to be $209.7 billion this year. That’s up 2.5% from 2021 when sales rose 8.6%, and far below 2020, when they were up 32.2%.

Cyber Week. Cyber Week — the five days spanning from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday — is expected to bring in $34.8 billion in online spending, a 2.8% increase from last year. That would be 16.3% of November-December spending.

Dig deeper: No matter the time of year, there’s a holiday you should be planning a campaign for

Cyber Monday. The day we all go back to work is again expected to be the year’s biggest online shopping day, generating a record $11.2 billion in sales. If that holds, it would be a 5.1% increase from last year. In 2021 consumers spent $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday, a 1.4% drop from 2020. Total Cyber Week spending that year also slipped 1.4% to $33.9 billion.

Black Friday is less important. With holiday shopping and sales now spread out over two months, Black Friday isn’t as important to online shoppers. It is expected to see $9 billion in online sales, up 1% from last year, while Thanksgiving Day is expected to be down 1%, at $5.1 billion.

The company bases its analysis on over a trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, covering 100 million SKUs and 18 product categories. Adobe will be updating its Holiday Shopping Trends and Insights report throughout the season.

Why we care. We’ve got an economy based on the belief in ever-growing consumer demand. The holiday season is when that demand is highest, making up as much as 30% of a retailer’s total annual sales. High inflation should mean people spending less. However, low unemployment — even with tech layoffs — may give them the confidence to spend more. We really won’t know how this plays out until the receipts are all counted.

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About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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