Ecommerce has become a major disrupter in the retail industry during this pandemic, saving many brands and consumers. In the U.S., consumers spent $204.5 billion online during the 2021 holiday season, an 8.6% increase YoY.

The data, released by Adobe, showed shopping was spread over November and December, with the weeks before Thanksgiving up by 19.2% YoY, declining by 1.4% during Cyber Week from the previous year. After November 30, sales saw a 5.6% YoY boost.

Despite receiving over 6 billion out-of-stock messages during the 2021 holidays and enjoying fewer discounts, the numbers showed that shoppers were undeterred. 

For instance, electronics discounts were only 8% off the full price, compared with the average of 21% off in 2020. Computers also saw a 10% discount in 2021 compared to 22% off in 2020, while clothing and toys offered marginally higher discounts.

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payment methods grew in double digits this last holiday season, reflecting a 27% YoY increase in purchases, and a 10% increase in orders as shoppers spent $224 on average per order.

The Adobe report also showed that curbside pickup remained the same at 22%-24% of online orders in 2021, from the previous two years, and peaking at 40% on Christmas Eve.

For marketers, it is important to take note of these trends as customers start shopping by early November. New digital approaches such as BNPL and curbside pickup will help brands gain an edge over their competitors.

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