US consumers spent a record amount shopping online this holiday season

Online Shopping
(Image credit: Pickawood / Unsplash)
Audio player loading…

Despite supply chain issues and product shortages, consumers in the US still managed to spend a record $204bn this holiday shopping season.

As part of its Adobe Digital Economy Index (opens in new tab), Adobe ,which is known for its Creative Cloud (opens in new tab) software suite, provides a comprehensive view into the ecommerce market in the US by analyzing direct consumer transactions online. To do so, it uses Adobe Analytics data compiled from over one trillion visits to retail sites, 100 million SKUs and 18 different product categories.

Over the course of the 2021 holiday season, consumers spent a total of $204.5bn which is up by 8.6 percent year over year.

According to a new blog post (opens in new tab) from Adobe, a record 38 days surpassed $3bn in daily spending compared to 25 days in 2020 as consumers have started spreading out their shopping outside of the traditional big sales day events like Black Friday (opens in new tab) and Cyber Monday (opens in new tab).

Increased demand for online shopping

Although retailers were faced with persistent supply chain challenges (opens in new tab) including congested ports, cargo delays and disruptions in overseas manufacturing, demand for online shopping wasn't deterred last year.

However, consumers did see over 6bn out-of-stock messages (opens in new tab) online during the 2021 holiday season representing a 253 percent increase over the 2019 holiday season and a 10 percent increase year over year.

One interesting trend that Adobe observed this year was an increase in the use of Buy Now Pay Later (opens in new tab) services which saw revenue up 27 percent year-over-year. Although more retail stores are now open to shoppers, curbside pickup also remained popular and was used in 23 percent of all online orders this season.

Senior director of Adobe Digital Insights, Taylor Schreiner provided further insight on the role ecommerce (opens in new tab) played in the 2021 holiday shopping season, saying:

“This holiday shopping season was the first time where big promotional moments like Cyber Monday and Black Friday took on less of the spotlight. Like we saw during the Covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce has become a ubiquitous daily activity and a flexible way for shoppers to navigate product availability and higher prices.”

We've also featured the best ecommerce platforms (opens in new tab), best ecommerce hosting (opens in new tab) and best shopping cart software (opens in new tab)

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.