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Consumer spending on Cyber Monday fell for the first time ever this year, Adobe analysts said Monday, pointing to record sales growth earlier in the month as a sign retailers and consumers are adjusting to lingering supply chain constraints by placing less of an emphasis on the year’s biggest online shopping holiday.

Key Facts

Americans spent a total of about $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday, down 1.4% from 2020 in the first yearly decline ever, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index on Tuesday morning.

The figures came in at the low end of Adobe’s projections for the holiday, which nabbed $10.8 billion in sales last year and were expected to climb up to $11.3 billion this year.

In an email, Adobe’s Taylor Schreiner said the decline was “fueled by growing awareness of supply chain challenges and product availability,” which encouraged some consumers to spread out ecommerce spending across the months of October and November.

Despite the Monday decline, which mirrored a 1.3% yearly decline in Black Friday sales, this holiday season is still on track to break online shopping records, Schreiner said, pointing out consumers have already spent $109.8 billion this month, soaring 11.9% over last year. 

In a Tuesday email, market analyst Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge Media said Cyber Monday sales growth would have been difficult this year given how the country “was still in the throes of the pandemic” one year ago, limiting in-person retail options (more so than this year) and forcing more Americans to shop online.

Crucial Quote 

“With early deals in October, consumers were not waiting around for discounts on big shopping days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday,” Schreiner said.

Key Background

A growing number of retailers have blamed pandemic-induced supply chain challenges for lower-than-expected profits this year, despite near-record consumer spending in recent months. A sign of retailer woes, the prevalence of out-of-stock messages was up 8% compared to a week before on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe. And in the month of November, the prevalence of out-of-stock messages has soared 169% versus pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, Adobe points out consumers are racking up bigger orders, with average order prices jumping 13.9% on Cyber Monday, reflecting both higher inflation and bigger-ticket item purchases.

Surprising Fact

Despite its decline, Cyber Monday remains the biggest online shopping day of the year by far, Adobe says. In the day’s peak shopping hour, starting at 11 p.m. ET, consumers spent an average $12 million every minute.

Further Reading

‘Black Friday’ Isn’t The Popular Search Term It Once Was—Pandemic Supply Chain Challenges And Early Shopping Are Likely To Blame (Forbes)

Source: Forbes

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