Consumers spend record $204B on 2021 holiday shopping season

Consumers spent more than $204 billion online during the 2021 holiday season, marking a record high despite ongoing supply chain woes coupled with painfully high inflation.

According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, a record $204.5 billion was spent between Nov. 1 to Dec. 31., an 8.6% increase compared to the same time last year.

Adobe Digital Insights lead analyst Vivek Pandya told FOX Business that the nearly 9% growth was “is in line with what we were expecting,”

This year, Adobe’s data indicated that consumers spread out their shopping rather than sticking to the major shopping holidays such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

Before Thanksgiving, from Nov. 1 to Nov. 24, spending grew 19.2% compared to the same time in 2020. However, spending was down 1.4% during Cyber Week, the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, compared to last year, according to Adobe.

The weeks following Cyber Monday, between Nov. 30 and Dec. 31, online spending increased 5.6% compared to 2020.

Overall, about 38 days this holiday season surpassed $3 billion in daily spending, marking another record, according to Adobe’s data. Only 25 days in 2020 hit this mark.

According to Adobe, the figures underscore that “demand for online shopping was not deterred by persistent supply chain challenges, as retailers contend with congested ports, cargo delays, and disruptions in overseas manufacturing.”

For instance, shoppers still found a way to nab gifts even with over 6 billion out-of-stock messages online this holiday season. That’s a 253% increase over the 2019 holiday season and a 10% increase from 2020, according to the data.

Aside from out-of-stock messages, discounts were also lower across all major categories. Electronics saw discounts of about 8% compared to 21% in 2020. Discounts for computers were down 10% this season compared to 22% in 2020 and appliances were down a mere 4% compared to 14% in 2020.

On top of that, prices of goods online in December increased 3.1% compared to a year ago. However, November marked a record high with online prices increasing 3.5%

Still, inflation didn’t stop consumers from spending a record $855 billion online throughout 2021. It marked a 9% increase from 2020, “attesting to the strength of the digital economy overall,” according to Adobe.