Need to Know
- Adobe’s Digital Economy Index reported three $3 billion online shopping days in 2020, in addition to 130 $2 billion days, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The pandemic has resulted in an extra $107 billion spent online since March; the first eight months of 2020 have driven $497 billion in total online sales.
- Online sales were up 42% year-over-year in August, compared to 55% in July, suggesting in-person shopping is returning as pandemic restrictions ease.
Continuous reports throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have indicated that, in the absence of in-store shopping, online retail has boomed in 2020. And now, we know precisely how much (in the US, at least): according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, there were 130 days on which online shopping sales hit $2 billion so far this year, with three days where that total hit $3 billion.
Further, according to Adobe, every day in both May and June saw $2 billion in online sales. Overall, online sales have totalled $427 billion for the first eight months of 2020, with an extra $107 billion of that due to the pandemic.
However, there are some signs that online buying is beginning to slow, as lockdown restrictions ease and stores re-open following a period of mandatory closures in the spring and early summer. The Adobe report showed 42% year-over-year growth in online sales for August 2020, which is down from 55% in July. In addition, 27% of those surveyed by Adobe said they felt more comfortable shopping in physical stores in August compared to July.
“Yes, things have been opening up, and consumers are a little more comfortable going back into stores,” Vivek Pandya, senior digital insights manager for Adobe, said in an interview with Yahoo Finance. “That growth drawing down was expected as stores are opening up.”
However, despite an increased comfort with shopping in-store, the Adobe report also indicated that buy online, pick up in-store sales were continuing to trend, growing 59% month-over-month in August and 259% year-over-year. Notably, travel bookings are up, with a 60% spike in flight bookings taking place in the two weeks leading up to Labour Day versus the previous 14 days.
In total, U.S. consumers have spent 14 billion hours shopping online so far this year.
Adobe Analytics measures transactions from 80 of the top 100 online retailers in the U.S. and combines these insights with a survey of 1,018 consumers conducted between August 31 and September 2, 2020.