Online shopping increased steadily this holiday season as record-setting discounts helped offset the pain from high inflation, according to a report released Thursday.
Consumers spent a record $211.7 billion online shopping between November 1 and December 31, according to Adobe Analytics. That marks a 3.5% increase from the same period of 2021.
The figures are not adjusted for inflation. However, Adobe said uptick was driven by growing demand, not just higher prices. That’s because Adobe’s research finds that online prices have been falling year-over-year since September.
Still, retailers were forced to offer deep discounts to lure shoppers this holiday season and to slash bloated inventories of apparel, electronics and other items.
Adobe said across major e-commerce categories, discounts hit record highs this holiday season.
For example, retailers marked down toys by 34% from listed prices, compared with 19% in the 2021 holiday season, according to Adobe. Discounts in electronics hit 25%, compared with discounts of 8% the prior holiday season. Shoppers also found significant discounts in computers (20%), apparel (19%), televisions (17%) and appliances (16%).
“At a time when consumers were dealing with elevated prices in areas such as food, gas, and rent, holiday discounts were strong enough to sustain discretionary spending through the entire season,” Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, said in the report.
Adobe said demand spiked for toys, video games and apparel, with consumers scooping up watches, baby toys and outdoor grills. Top sellers included Legos, Hot Wheels, Paw Patrols and LOL Surprise.
During Cyber Week alone (the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday), consumers spent $35.3 billion on online shopping, up 4% from the same period of 2021, according to the report.
Retail sales were solid across the economy this holiday season. In-store and online retail sales increased by 7.6% between November 1 and December 24, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse figures released late last month. Those figures are not adjusted for inflation.