Adobe Data Shows 76 Percent of Online Holiday Sales Will be Spent on 1 Percent of Product SKUs


Record Online Sales of $83 Billion Expected this Holiday Season; Online Prices Expected to be Lowest on Thanksgiving Day

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Oct. 29, 2015 — Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today released its 2015 Digital Index Online Shopping Prediction for the upcoming holiday season. Adobe forecasts that total online sales will reach $83 billion, an increase of eleven percent year-over-year (YoY). Seventy-six percent of sales will be devoted to just one percent of product SKUs – primarily electronics (60 percent) and gift cards (ten percent). Thanksgiving Day will be the fastest growing online sales day for the second consecutive year, with an 18 percent increase YoY and $1.6 billion in sales. Cyber Monday will hit the $3 billion mark for the first time and see twelve percent growth YoY, while Black Friday is expected to increase 15 percent YoY to generate $2.7 billion. The most talked about gift items likely to fill shopping carts include the Star Wars BB-8 droid toy, the Apple Watch, Sony’s PlayStation 4, Minecraft and Halo 5 video games, among others.

Adobe’s predictive commerce model also projects that shoppers will find the lowest overall online prices of the season on Thanksgiving Day, with an average discount of 26 percent, but out-of-stock incidents will also increase by 83 percent that day. The best time to buy based on price and product availability will vary by product category. Saturday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 21) will offer the largest, single-day price drop for toys, with an average discount of 18 percent. The best deals for electronics (18 percent discount on average) will be offered on the Monday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 23). For jewelry, discounts will peak at 25 percent on Thanksgiving Day, while apparel items will be discounted throughout the season.

Adobe’s Online Shopping Prediction is the most comprehensive report in the industry. The forecast is based on an analysis of 55 million product SKUs and aggregated and anonymous data of more than one trillion visits to 4,500 retail websites over the last seven years. Seven dollars and fifty cents out of every ten dollars spent online with the top 500 U.S. retailers go through Adobe Marketing Cloud.* Adobe has insights into 80 percent of all transactions from the top 100 retailers in the U.S.* The breadth of data Adobe collects has allowed the company to successfully predict consumer online spending on Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday within two percent in previous years, the most accurate forecast in the industry.

“Holiday shopping is a huge investment, and consumers get more sophisticated every year with their online and mobile shopping in order to secure the most popular gifts at the best prices,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal research analyst, Adobe Digital Index. “The average U.S. Internet user will spend a total of $305 online in November and December, with an average of $11 on Cyber Monday, which will set the record for largest online shopping day of all time. Both months combined will drive more than 22 percent of the total annual online sales for U.S. retailers.”

Additional findings include:

  • Best Deals: Online prices are expected to be lowest on Thanksgiving Day with an average discount of 26 percent. However, out-of-stock incidents are likely to increase 83 percent on Thanksgiving Day and peak on Cyber Monday due to increased demand. Consumers will find the most discounts primarily through display advertising followed by social networks, with search engines being least likely to result in a discount of more than ten percent. Shipping costs will be lowest on Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday with an average of $1.30.
  • Mobile and Social Media Impact: For the first time, mobile devices will overtake desktops on Thanksgiving Day to drive the majority (51 percent) of online shopping visits – representing 29 percent of online sales that day, a 12 percent increase YoY. Apple iOS will represent 22 percent of sales versus Android’s seven percent. Consistent with last year, Adobe data also shows that two percent of sales will be directly impacted by social networks. As of Q3 2015, referred revenue-per-visit (RPV) from social networks was led by Facebook ($1.24) and Pinterest ($0.74), followed by Twitter ($0.60) and Reddit ($0.57).
  • Hot Gifts & Social Buzz: Social media buzz is typically an early indicator for top holiday gifts. Star Wars’ BB-8 droid is leading social media buzz for kids’ toys, followed by Barbie and American Girl dolls. Apple leads the wearable, streaming hardware and tablet categories with Apple Watch, Apple TV and iPad. GoPro, Fitbit, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Kindle and iPad Mini are the runner-ups in each category. Sony’s PlayStation 4 is the most talked about game console, while Minecraft and Halo 5 are even in driving buzz for the top video game.
  • Top Online Retailers: Amazon reigns supreme followed by eBay and Target, while Walmart beats the Gap when it comes to retailers driving the most social media conversations since Sept. 1. Fifteen percent of Amazon’s social buzz originates in California while 35 percent of eBay mentions come from New York. For the second consecutive year, both California and New York are the states leading social chatter for Target.

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About Adobe Digital Index
Adobe Digital Index publishes research on digital marketing and other topics of interest to senior marketing and e-commerce executives across industries. Research is based on the analysis of select, anonymous and aggregated data from over 4,500 major companies worldwide that use Adobe Marketing Cloud to obtain actionable data and analysis of activity on their websites. The 2015 Online Shopping Forecast’s margin of error is three percent with a 90 percent confidence level.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated
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