Salesforce and Adobe released their 2021 holiday shopping wrap-up on Wednesday, both estimating that sales topped $200 billion in the United States.
Salesforce estimates that consumers spent $1.14 trillion online globally and $257 billion in the U.S., compared with $1.1 trillion and $236 billion in 2020.
The Adobe Digital Economy Index estimates U.S. consumers spent $204.5 billion during the 2021 holiday season, up 8.6% year-over-year (YoY), with 38 days surpassing $3 billion in daily spend.
Adobe notes retailers that offered curbside and in-store pickup gained attention, but not growth compared with the prior year. The fulfillment option was used in 23% of all online orders this season.
Despite the lack of growth in curbside pickup — 24% in 2020 and 22% in 2019 — demand for the service remains strong.
Adobe data shows that shoppers like the value, the convenience and the speed of curbside pickup, and find it a safe fulfillment option during COVID-19 surges. On December 23, use peaked at 40%. On average, curbside orders amount to $91 and roughly 2 items in the shopping cart.
Adobe also notes that discounts on products during the season were weaker across major categories tracked by Adobe: In electronics, discount averaged 8% in 2021, compared with 21% in 2020. Sporting Goods averages discounts of 6% in 2021, compared with 14% in 2020.
The two companies also agreed on high inflation rates throughout the season. Salesforce reported that inflation persisted throughout the holiday season with U.S. prices up 25% year-over-year, while holiday inventory shrank 2% — both globally and in the U.S. — compared with 2020, due to supply-chain issues.
Adobe estimates that December 2021 marked the nineteenth consecutive month of online inflation, during a time when consumers in the U.S. spent $855 billion online.
In December, grocery prices skyrocketed, seeing their highest annual increase in more than a year at 4.9% YoY and 0.7% month-over-month (MoM). Apparel rose 16.6% YoY and grew 0.6% MoM.