Adobe: Online Winter Holiday Retail Sales to Increase Slightly

The upcoming online winter holiday retail period (Nov. 1 to Dec. 31) is expected to see sales inch up 2.5% as inflation worries and Amazon bumping up its annual Prime Day sales event to October undermine overall sales numbers, according to data analysis from Adobe Research.

The company contends that Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) will again top all online sales with $11.2 billion, up 5.1% from 2021. Post-Thanksgiving Black Friday (Nov. 25) online sales are expected to increase just 1% to $9 billion, while Thanksgiving sales are projected to decline 1% to $5.1 billion.

Adobe expects that sales discounts will hit record highs (upwards of 32%) this holiday season, as retailers contend with oversupply and softening consumer spending. Computers and consumer electronics will hit all-time highs: Discounts for computers are expected to be as high as 32% (up from 10% in 2021), while consumer electronics discounts are set to hit 27% (up from 8%). Other discount categories will include televisions at 19% (vs. 11% in 2021), apparel at 19% (vs. 13%), appliances at 18% (vs. 4%), sporting goods at 17% (vs. 6%), and furniture and bedding at 11% (vs. 2%).

The biggest discounts are expected to hit between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving Day will be the best day to shop for electronics, while Black Friday will have the best deals for televisions. That Saturday (Nov. 26) will have the biggest discounts for toys, with the best deals for apparel and sporting goods arriving on Sunday (Nov. 27). Those looking to buy a computer or furniture should shop on Cyber Monday, and appliances will see top discounts on Dec. 1.

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“The shape of the holiday season will look different this year, with early discounting in October pulling up spend that would have occurred around Cyber Week,” Patrick Brown, VP of growth marketing and insights at Adobe, said in a statement. “Even though we expect to see single-digit growth online this season, it is notable that consumers have already spent over $590 billion online this year (January to August), which is up 8.9% from last year, highlighting the resiliency of e-commerce demand.”

Major online sales categories include consumer electronics, as Adobe expects consumer electronics to drive $49.8 billion of online spending, up 2.9% from last year.

Report: 30% Increase in Global Thanksgiving Weekend E-commerce Transactions

Online sales of products continue to resonate globally. ACI Worldwide Dec. 4 revealed a 21% increase in e-commerce transactions worldwide in November compared to November 2019. This was driven by strong consumer demand for household items and services, especially those providing shipment, remote education and training, and insurance for consumer electronics.

According to the data, based on hundreds of millions of online transactions from global merchants, the retail sector saw a 30% increase over the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday in 2020 compared to 2019.

The Saturday after Black Friday experienced the biggest increase at 47% compared to 2019. However, the average ticket price on these peak days declined by 3% compared to 2019, down from $136 to $132, as consumers are attracted to free shipment and sales.

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“This year’s holiday season is looking very different from previous years with many merchants starting sales much earlier, as well as continuing promotions beyond the traditional peak days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Debbie Guerra, EVP, ACI Worldwide, said in a statement.

Guerra said many merchants expanded their buy-online-pick-up-in-store and free next-day delivery options, which attracted many consumers.

“The result is a substantial increase in e-commerce transaction volumes prior to Black Friday,” she said.

Fraud attempt rates by volume increased slightly to 1.7% by volume and 3.4% by value, similarly to prior holiday seasons, as a result of increased genuine consumer spending outpacing fraud. Non-fraud chargebacks increased by 15% in October 2020 compared with 2019, a lower percentage than that of April and May of 2020, mainly due to more people being back at work and call centers being better staffed to deal with consumer calls.

Guerra said consumers should avoid leaving packages on their doorsteps for long periods of time to avoid porch piracy, as this has been an area of growing concern over the years.

“As the buy-online-pick-up-in-store channel continues to experience fast growth driven by the pandemic, it is providing greater opportunity for fraudsters,​” she said.

E-commerce purchasing trends:

  • In 2020 to-date (January to November), global e-commerce transactions increased by 20% compared with the same period last year.
  • Travel and ticketing continued to see a significant dip in November due to the pandemic, declining 60% and 85% respectively.
  • Transactions in the gaming sector increased 50%; this increase was less than previous months, potentially due to market saturation as well as consumers potentially awaiting holiday gift cards for gaming purchases.
  • The U.S. saw an increase in transactions of 20% and the U.K. of 19% percent from January through November 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

 

Fraud trends:

  • ​Fraudulent attempt purchase value decreased by $11 in 2020 compared to 2019; this was the impact of airline, sporting event and concert ticket purchase declines, which have a high average ticket price; genuine purchases value decreased by $18​.
  • Fraud attempt rates by volume increased slightly by 1.7% and 3.4% by value, similar to prior holiday seasons, as a result of increased genuine consumer spending outpacing fraud.

 

Amazon Ups Q3 Online Store Sales 21%

Amazon Oct. 24 announced third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) online store revenue of $35 billion, which was 21% higher than $29 billion in revenue in the previous-year period.

Online stores include product sales and digital media content available in both a physical (DVD and Blu-ray Disc) and digital format, such as books, music, videos, games and software sold on a transactional basis.

Subscription services revenue, which includes annual and monthly fees associated with Prime memberships, as well as audiobook, digital movies, e-book, digital music and other non-AWS subscription services, increased 34% to $4.95 billion compared to $3.69 billion last year.

Other Q3 highlights featured a new line up of Echo personal speakers; 20 new Fire TV products, including the first Fire TV Edition soundbar; the all-new Fire TV Cube, the fastest and most powerful Fire TV ever; the first OLED Fire TV Edition smart TV; and the first Fire TV Edition smart TV with far-field Alexa voice control.

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Fire TV announced more than 37 million active users worldwide and continues to be the No. 1 selling family of streaming media players in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and India.

The e-commerce behemoth introduced the all-new eero mesh WiFi system, which offers simple, reliable WiFi for streaming, gaming, and working from home — all for $99. The mesh WiFi system replaces your existing router and extends WiFi coverage seamlessly throughout your home, according to Amazon. In addition, eero is expanding to Europe — customers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom will be able to try the eero and eero Pro in early November.

Prime Video won 15 Emmy awards, with “Fleabag” receiving four, including Outstanding Comedy Series, as well as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Prime Video premiered four new Amazon Original series: “The Boys,” “Carnival Row,” “Undone” and “Modern Love.” In addition, Prime Video will see the return of “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” starring John Krasinski, on Nov. 1; “The Man in the High Castle,” from author Philip K. Dick, on Nov. 15; “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” recent winner of eight Emmy awards, on Dec. 6; and the relaunch of series “The Expanse,” with an all-new season four, on Dec. 13.

Prime Video launched its third season of “NFL Thursday Night Football” with new features, such as Next Gen Stats on X-Ray, which gives fans access to deeper analytics and allows football fans all over the globe to customize their Thursday Night Football streaming experience.

Prime Video continues to create local Original Series around the world, including “All or Nothing: Brazil National Football Team” and “Soltos em Floripa” in Brazil; “El Juego de las Llaves” and “Derbez Family Vacation” in Mexico; “LOL: Last One Laughing” in Australia; “Truth Seekers” in the United Kingdom; “Inside Borussia Dortmund” in Germany; “El Corazón de Sergio Ramos” in Spain; “The Family Man” in India; and season three of “The Bachelor” in Japan.