October sales extravganzas such as Amazon Prime Big Deal Days drove e-commerce for the month to new heights.
Consumers spent $76.8 billion online in October, up 5.9% year-over-year (YoY) and representing $4.3 billion more than the year prior ($72.5 billion), according to data from Adobe Analytics, The October spend also represents a significant 13.6% increase compared to September.
Adobe says that shoppers were enticed by early discounts offered during promotional events including Amazon Prime Big Deal Days, as well as flexible payment methods such as buy now, pay later (BNPL), which Adobe data indicates drove $6.4 billion of online spend in October, up 6% YoY.
In addition, year-to-date (January - October 2023), revenue attributed to BNPL by Adobe has driven $58.5 billion, up significantly at 14.5% growth YoY. Adobe expects BNPL usage to peak in November and on Cyber Monday (Nov. 27). Adobe also credits strong October e-commerce performance to early holiday discounts, particularly in categories including electronics and apparel, where its data reveals discounts have been as high as 12% and 9%, respectively.
Other categories seeing deals reach high levels include sporting goods (7%), while Adobe observed more modest discounts in categories including appliances (6%), toys (5%) and home furniture (5%).
Looking ahead, Adobe anticipates Cyber Week will have the best deals of the 2023 holiday season, with the deepest discounts expected to take place during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Year-to-date (January 2023 to October 2023), Adobe data indicates consumers have spent a total of $759 billion online, up 4.3% from the same period in 2022. Adobe’s Digital Price Index shows prices online have fallen consecutively for 14 months (down 6% YoY in Oct. 2023). Adobe’s numbers are not adjusted for inflation, but if online deflation were factored in, growth would be 11.9%.
Online spending via mobile devices in October 2023 hit a record $35.9 billion, up 46.7% YoY. According to Adobe, improved mobile shopping experiences have made It easier and more intuitive for consumers to hit buy on smaller screens. Year-to-date (January - October 2023), spending via mobile has topped $354.7 billion, up 10.6% YoY.
Sales for smart home items were up 157% and electronics accessories up 109%, compared to observed levels in September 2023. Additionally, spend on holiday décor items such as Christmas trees, ornaments, and decorations saw a boost and rose 136% from the prior month as consumers began to prepare for the upcoming holiday season.
In October 2023, curbside pickup accounted for 18% of orders (for retailers who offered the service). This is up slightly from the 17% share in October 2022. Adobe expects usage of curbside pickup will increase in December, as consumers leverage it to cut back on shipping costs and avoid shipping delays when making last-minute purchases.
“Despite the uncertainty in the macro-environment, Adobe Analytics data has shown that the consumer remains resilient heading into the big holiday season, and are embracing every opportunity to manage their budgets in more efficient ways,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst, Adobe Digital Insights.
The report covers the period from Oct. 1-31, 2023, and is based on Adobe Analytics data covering over 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs and 18 product categories. Adobe Analytics is part of Adobe Experience Cloud.