The accelerated move to e-commerce due to the pandemic will have a significant impact on online vacation sales in the US, according to a new forecast from Adobe Analytics. Adobe Analytics predicts US online sales of $ 189 billion in November and December 2020. This corresponds to an increase of 33% compared to the previous year and sets a new record.
According to Adobe, the forecast corresponds to growth of two years in one season. The increase in 2019 was only 13%.
If consumers get another round of stimulus checks and physical stores across much of the country are closed again to combat further coronavirus outbreaks, the numbers could turn out even higher. In this case, consumers are expected to spend an additional $ 11 billion online, representing total sales of more than $ 200 billion, or a 47% year-over-year increase.
The way consumers shop this season may also look different.
The online shopping season usually started on Black Friday sales – a digital counterpart to the offline sales events that take place in physical stores. This would then lead to Cyber Monday sales as consumers searched online for items that they couldn't find deals on when shopping in person.
Over the years, the lines between each sales event began to blur. Online shopping, for example, shifted to Thanksgiving and then extended beyond Cyber Monday.
This year, Adobe Analytics expects the so-called “Cyber Week” (Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) to become “Cyber Months”.
This will be due in part to substantial vacation discounts starting in the first two weeks of November and leading to the deepest price drops on the Black Friday holiday weekend and Cyber Monday.
Adobe Analytics also predicts that online sales will exceed $ 2 billion daily from November 1st through November 21st, and will grow to $ 3 billion daily from November 22nd through December 3rd.
Black Friday online sales are expected to grow 39% year over year to $ 10 billion, while Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year with sales of $ 12.7 billion, an increase of 35% compared to the previous year.
The best deals on TVs and appliances will continue on Black Friday, while the best deals on toys and furniture will arrive on Sunday, November 29th, the day before Cyber Monday. According to Adobe, sporting goods will get their best deals on December 13th and electronics on December 18th.
As in previous years, mobile will continue to make up an increasingly large proportion of e-commerce spending, with U.S. consumers spending $ 28.1 billion more on their smartphones in 2020 than in 2019, up from a 55% increase corresponds to the previous year.
Smaller retailers ($ 10 million to $ 50 million annual online sales) will also benefit from increased online activity. You will see a bigger increase (107%) in their online sales than larger retailers with sales above $ 1 billion, which is an 84% increase.
Since some U.S. consumers may not be traveling with families this year compared to pre-pandemic years, Adobe Analytics predicts Americans will be spending 18% more on gifts delivered direct from the retailer to people they otherwise know personally seen. However, consumers are not interested in paying more for express shipping. 64% said they won't pay for a faster service. That means retailers must continue to communicate clearly about their free shipping deadlines.
The trend towards online purchase and in-store collection (BOPIS) will also increase. With the addition of roadside pick-up options from many retailers, BOPIS will receive 40% more orders than last year and account for 50% of all orders from retailers offering this option in the week leading up to Christmas.
Due to the pandemic, Adobe Analytics expects 9% of all vacation customers to be new online shoppers. Conversion rates will also increase + 13% while sales will increase + 33%. However, the average order value remains unchanged.
One factor that could make these predictions difficult is the US election. In the past election years, online sales have been hurt after the result was revealed. They fell 14% the day after the 2016 elections and 6% the day after the 2018 split. According to Adobe Analytics, 26% of consumers said the election result would affect their vacation spend.
The data used to make these predictions comes from Adobe Analytics, which analyzes one trillion visits to US retail locations today. This includes 100 million items and 80 of the top 100 retailers in the US.