U.S. retailers’ online sales have slowed on Cyber Monday and Black Friday, according to several market reports.
U.S. retailers’ online sales likely slowed this Cyber Monday, as fewer discounts and limited choices due to supply-chain disruptions deterred shoppers.
Retailers had spread out promotional deals across more weeks to protect profit margins from surging supply chain costs and to better manage inventories amid widespread product shortages ahead of the Christmas shopping season.
Those attempts have pinched sales on what are traditionally some of the biggest shopping days of the year, with Adobe Analytics data over the weekend showing spending online during Black Friday fell for the first time ever.
Online sales on big shopping days like Thanksgiving and Black Friday are decreasing for the first time in history, and it is beginning to smooth out the shape of the overall season, said Taylor Schreiner, director, Adobe Digital Insights.
U.S. spending on Cyber Monday crossed $7 billion as of 9 p.m. ET, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.
Adobe expects consumers to spend between $10.4 billion and $11.1 billion and forecast that customers could spend $2.5 billion between 7 p.m. PT and 11 p.m. PT.
Early estimates showed spending to be between $10.2 billion and $11.3 billion. That translates to roughly flat growth at the midpoint compared to last year’s $10.8 billion, which was a near 15 percent jump from 2019.
Excitement on social media around Cyber Monday is also ebbing.
Cyber Monday continues to be extremely relevant, particularly in the digital world, but the buzz has been more muted than we’ve seen in recent history, said Rob Garf, general manager of retail at Salesforce.
Discount rates in the United States in the week leading up to Cyber Monday were on average 8 percent lower than last year, according to Salesforce.
The holiday season kicks off just as the new Omicron coronavirus variant has triggered uncertainty over the economic reopening, but experts say it is too early to predict the impact on consumer spending.
On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, U.S. shoppers spent roughly $8.9 billion online, down from $9 billion a year earlier, according to Adobe data.
A separate data point released Monday by MasterCard SpendingPulse, which calculates overall U.S. retail sales across payment methods, found U.S. shoppers spent 14 percent more on merchandise excluding automobiles from Nov 26 to 28, compared to the same holiday weekend a year earlier. The estimates include purchases made in stores.
Shoppers’ spending online increased 5 percent over the three-day period compared to a year earlier, and by 28.7 percent when compared to the same period in 2019, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse.
The Black Friday sales last week saw online shopping dip to $8.9 billion this year, falling short of $9 billion that was spent by online consumers last year, and the ongoing chip shortage is one of the key reasons behind this.
According to Adobe Analytics, out-of-stock messages have increased by 124 per cent since January last year, making it harder for shoppers to get the products they want, as the world faces acute component shortage and supply chain issues.
Appliances and electronics were affected the most by the chip shortage.
According to a holiday shopping report by Adobe Analytics, the downward trend might’ve been caused by an uptick in early spending, as some stores started sales and promotions as early as October.
When shoppers did make online purchases during Black Friday, Adobe found that 44.4 per cent of those sales were made from a smartphone, a 10.6 per cent increase from the last year, reports The Verge.
Vivek Pandya, the lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, said: “Shoppers are being strategic in their gift shopping, buying much earlier in the season and being flexible about when they shop to make sure they get the best deals.”
Among the most popular tech products sold on Black Friday were the Nintendo Switch and Meta (formerly Oculus) Quest 2.