Online consumer spending jumped 20% this month through Tuesday in a sign that US holiday shopping has started early, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.

Purchases totaled US$72.2bil (RM305.22bil) during the period and toys were a key driver, Adobe said in a report released Wednesday on e-commerce trends in the US. Underscoring widespread shortages in supply, out-of-stock messages have more than tripled compared with November 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.

“This surging demand also highlights that even with persistent out-of-stock messages, shoppers are getting comfortable with buying something that may not have been at the top of their list,” Adobe said.

Among the other highlights of the report:

Consumers are expected to spend between US$5.1bil (RM21.56bil) and US$5.9bil (RM24.94bil) online Thursday, which is Thanksgiving Day in the US. That would be a record.

Cyber Monday, which falls on Nov 29, will be the year’s biggest online shopping day, with estimated spending of US$11.3bil (RM47.77bil) – which would also be an all-time high. From Nov 1 through Dec 31, online sales are expected rise 10% from last year to total US$207bil (RM875,09bil).

In addition to toys, which have been more heavily discounted than last year, hot sellers range from video games to groceries to books. Shoppers are snapping up hoverboards, Nerf toys, and PlayStation 5 gaming consoles.

Discounts are shallower than last year in areas such as apparel, appliances, televisions, computers and sporting goods. With the overall rate of inflation rising, shoppers should take note: Adobe says Nov 26 will have the best deals for furniture and bedding, Nov 27 for electronics and Nov 28 for clothes. – Bloomberg

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