Consumers Spent $354.7B On Mobile This Year

Analysts have been talking about the "year of mobile" commerce for years. Now the ad industry might have finally reached that mark, according to Adobe Analytics data released Thursday.

Mobile online spending in October 2023 rose 46.7% YoY to $35.9 billion, but from January 2023 through October 2023, spending on mobile devices rose 10.6% YoY to $354.7 billion. More intuitive mobile shopping experiences have made it easier for consumers to hit the buy button on smaller screens. 

The mini computers now in most consumers' pockets not only facilitate purchases, but assist in deciding what gifts to buy at the perfect price.

“In a recent complementary survey, we found consumers are increasingly using generative AI while shopping online," said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. "They believe it improves the online shopping experience and plan to use generative AI this holiday season to quickly find specific items, identify the best deals, and to get brand and product recommendations.”



Consumers spent $76.8 billion online in October 2023 -- up 5.9% year-over-year (YoY). Year-to-date, that number jumped to $759 billion online, up 4.3% YoY.

Marketers and marketplaces found ways to entice shoppers to spend, spend, spend with early discounts offered during promotional events like the second Prime Day, as well as flexible payment methods such as Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL). 

Adobe on Thursday released its first set of holiday ecommerce data for the year, analyzing pre-season online purchases from October 1-October 31.

The data estimates spend, categories driving growth, and Buy Now Pay Later use. This report covers October 1 through October 31, 2023, and is based on Adobe Analytics data of more than 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories.

Data suggests that shoppers will continue to embrace flexible payment methods as they look for new ways to manage their holiday budgets this season. BNPL drove $6.4 Billion of online spend in October, up 6% YoY.

This follows a year where the payment method increased among consumers. Year-to-date, January 2023 to October 2023 revenue attributed to BNPL has driven $58.5 billion, up 14.5% YoY. Adobe expects BNPL usage to peak in November and on Cyber Monday. 

Brands and retailers have not been hesitant to offer early holiday discounts in electronics and apparel. Some products are discounted by as much as 12% and 9%, respectively.

The discounts have caught the attention of shoppers. About 7% have seen good deals in sporting goods, 6% in appliances, 5% in toys, and 5% in home furniture.

Top-selling toys online include Legos, Barbie toys, Squishmallows, art sets, action figures, and stuffed and plush toys. Top electronics include Bluetooth headphones, smart home and streaming devices, kid’s tablets, and smart watches. In addition, video gaming devices and games such as the PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Madden 24 have been hot sellers.

Curbside pickup remained strong in October 2023, accounting for 18% of orders for retailers offering the service and up slightly from the 17% in October 2022. 

Adobe expects the use of curbside pickup to increase in December, as consumers leverage it to cut back on shipping costs and avoid shipping delays when making last minute purchases.  

New consumer demand, rather than higher prices, seems to be driving purchases. Adobe’s Digital Price Index shows prices online have fallen 6% YoY in October 2023, consecutively for 14 months. The numbers have not been adjusted for inflation, but if online deflation were factored in, growth would be 11.9%. 

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