Isabel Pavia/Getty ImagesOnline retail sales over Thanksgiving were weaker than expected and flat from last year, Adobe Analytics data showed. Shortages caused by supply chain issues and fewer discounts may have impacted spending. Analysts say consumers should prepare for major discounts in January as stock arrives late.
Online retail sales over Thanksgiving were less spicy than expected.
According to data from Adobe Analytics, which tracks over a trillion visits to US retail sites, consumers spent $5.1 billion online on Thursday, which was at the lower end of its estimates. Online sales were flat versus 2020, when they jumped 21.5% from 2019.
Increasingly, peak holiday shopping days in the US have lost significance amid year-round deals and discounting.
But this year, warnings of product shortages and fewer discounts because of supply chain issues may have caused consumers to shop earlier in the season to avoid disappointment, or to opt out entirely. Experts say that consumers looking for deep discounts this year may well be disappointed.
According to data from Salesforce, the average discount over Thanksgiving was 27%, which marked a 7% drop from last year.
Black Friday sales are already underway and Adobe is estimating that consumers will spend somewhere between $8.8 billion and $9.6 billion over the course of the day, which is in line with last year's estimate.
But with mountains of stock stuck on container ships or docks that may never make it to stores in time for Christmas, experts say we could end up seeing major holiday-style sales in January.
"It is simply a matter of time before late product hits the floors and begins to drive up promotions," a group of BMO analysts wrote in a note to clients earlier this month.