Huge online holiday shopping expected, with 2 factors possibly driving sales higher

Online holiday shopping is forecast to reach a record $189 billion this year, according to Adobe Analytics, which issues its annual forecast for holiday e-commerce spending a few weeks before shopping begins in earnest.

If that is accurate, that would be 33% more than online holiday spending last year, and that would be huge.

“It’s about two years’ worth of growth compressed into one season. That is not normal. But because of what we see in terms of how consumers have gotten very accustomed to buying things online this year, it is essentially supercharging this season,” Vivek Pandya, senior digital insights manager for Adobe, told WTOP.

Daily records surpassing $2 billion in sales are expected every day between Nov. 1 and Nov. 21, and increase to $3 billion a day between Nov. 22 and Dec. 3.

Black Friday is expected to generate $10 billion in sales, up 39% from last year. Cyber Monday will remain the biggest online shopping day of the year, according to Adobe, with $12.7 billion in online sales, up 42% from last year.

There are two factors that could drive this year’s expected record online holiday sales even higher.

“Store closings and openings. Different stores have their own schedules around how they are thinking through staying open on certain days and being very safe and staying closed on certain days, like Thanksgiving,” Pandya said.

“The other factor is stimulus and additional income relief for consumers. We do see that this has a role in driving up spending.”

If those two factors impact online holiday spending, Adobe forecasts consumes will spend an additional $11 billion, surpassing $200 billion total, up 47% from last year.

Mobile online will continue to gain ground this year with the smartphone share of spending expected to reach $28.1 billion, accounting for 42% of all online sales.

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