The pandemic continues to accelerate digital shopping, with U.S. online sales up 77.8 percent in May to a new high of $82.5 billion, according to results from the Adobe Digital Economic Index released Friday.
Memorial Day sales also hit a record high, hitting $3.5 billion, far surpassing the previous sales record of $2 billion last year, according to Adobe. Memorial Day was the biggest online volume day in 2020 to date, Adobe said.
Powered by Adobe Analytics, Adobe’s Digital Economy Index analyzes more than 1 trillion online transactions across 100 million product stockkeeping units, or sku’s. Adobe surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers from June 1 to 3, and measures transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers.
“With consumers now having had three months to adjust to ‘the new normal,’ we are seeing signs that online purchasing trends formed during the pandemic may see permanent adoption,” said Taylor Schreiner, director at Adobe Digital Insights. “While BOPIS (buy online, pickup in-store) was a niche delivery option pre-pandemic, it is fast becoming the delivery method of choice as consumers become more familiar with the ease, convenience and experience BOPIS offers.”
“Despite growth in some areas, purchasing power is becoming more limited as prices increase, particularly on everyday grocery items,” said Vivek Pandya, digital insights manager, Adobe. “According to the Adobe survey conducted to help inform the Digital Economy Index, one in four consumers say they’ve had a negative experience shopping online, over the past three months, suggesting retailers have an opportunity to improve their site experiences.”
Among other insights from the DEI:
E-commerce levels in May tracked higher than shopping holiday levels on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Consumers purchased 10 percent more products through smartphones in May versus January, as consumers stayed away from their office desks and desktop computers, and shopped more with their smartphones at home.
First-time online shoppers are more prone to use smartphones for purchasing.
BOPIS grew 195 percent in May, and will continue to grow in popularity but the pace is slowing as more stores reopen for shopping inside.
Twenty-three percent of online consumers prefer using buy online, pick-up in store or curbside over delivery.
Connecticut showcased the biggest e-commerce lift in May with 99 percent growth as consumers continued dealing with statewide store closures. More rural and/or early opening states, including Vermont, Iowa, Wyoming and Florida, showed the lowest increases.
Bookings of domestic flights nationwide tripled between April 1-7 and May 25-31, with prices down 28 percent. Southern states are bouncing back fastest, with flights to and from the region booked at a higher volume than any other region as many of the states in this area were reopening first.
Consumer electronics and apparel purchases were up 11 and 12 percent, respectively, in May because more people were working at home and took advantage of deep discounting.
Online grocery daily sales declined 14 percent as consumers returned to brick-and-mortar stores in reopened states or curtailed the early stockpiling experienced at the beginning of the pandemic. Grocery prices rose 4 percent in May.
For its analysis of the DEI, Adobe examines apparel, appliances, books, computers, electronic, flowers and related gifts, furniture and bedding, groceries, home and garden, jewelry, medical equipment and supplies, non-prescription drug, office supplies, personal-care products, pet products, sporting goods, tools, home improvement and toys.