Summer Sales to Spur Higher Overall Online Spending

·4 min read

Despite rising inflation and the stock market tanking, the upcoming summer sales will get a good response from consumers shopping online.

That’s according to software giant Adobe, which last June had Advanis survey 1,115 consumers across the U.S. and concluded that of those planning to participate in this year’s summer sales like Prime Day, 76 percent said they’ll spend more or the same amount as last year.

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According to Adobe, consumers are motivated to shop summer sales to save money: 56 percent were looking to save money by shopping on Prime Day. But for 32 percent, the motivation on shopping summer sales is to get ahead of their holiday shopping, and for 23 percent it’s to get ahead of their back-to-school shopping. Consumers are concerned that prices will continue to rise as the year progresses and figure it’s best to shop sooner rather than later.

The research also indicated that consumers expect retailers to be more personalized than ever with tailored offers.

Another big theme, Adobe indicated, was that as prices rise, “consumers are less willing to spend money on discretionary items and are instead prioritizing purchases of necessity. Yet despite spending slowing down on ‘nice-to-have’ items, new insights show online spend is likely to grow this summer as 61 percent of consumers are looking forward to summer sales, like Prime Day.”

According to Adobe, Gen Z is most excited for summer sales; followed by Millennials, Gen X and then Baby Boomers.

“Even though more retailers, like Target, report that they are overstocked and will be offering deeper discounts, consumers are wary of how much the discounts will be impacted by inflation,” Adobe reported. “Sixty-four percent believe discounts will be smaller than last year.”

On the negative side, nearly 24 percent of consumers surveyed do not plan to shop Prime Day because they have less discretionary money due to inflation. Twenty-one percent said they won’t participate this year since they’re worried about the economy; 20 percent said they’re shifting spending to necessities. Also, 15 percent said they’re shifting spending toward necessities to build savings.

Though consumers have started to return to stores, spending online continues to see “a modest increase,” according to the Adobe Digital Price Index which showed that consumers spent $78.8 billion online in May, over $1 billion more than April.

Ninety-three percent of those surveyed reported they are shopping online, with 50 percent of Gen Z, 49 percent of Millennials and 35 percent of Gen X indicating they do most of their shopping that way.

Seventy-six percent of consumers reported they search for better prices online first and read reviews before making a purchase in a store, with 60 percent making price comparisons at other retailers on their phone before purchasing. The generations that do this the most are Gen Z (86 percent) and Millennials (77 percent.)

With demand for personalized promotions growing, 61 percent of those surveyed want them emailed after visiting an commerce site or a store; 53 percent want them while shopping, and 34 percent prefer a text after visiting a commerce site or store, according to Adobe.

Thirty-seven percent of consumers surveyed are open to augmented reality experiences; 28 percent are interested in immersive and interactive shopping experiences, like shopping in the metaverse, and 26 percent already participated in livestream shopping.

Adobe’s report underscored that consumers want flexibility in how they make purchases, how orders get fulfilled, and how they make returns. They want the ability to choose between credit cards, a bank account, PayPal, Apple Pay, Venmo and cryptocurrency, and they want buy now, pay later, which Adobe said is gaining traction. Forty-five percent of Millennials are using BNPL, followed by 43 percent of Gen Z; Gen X, 31 percent, and Baby Boomers, 14 percent.

Speed of delivery is important. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed want online orders delivered in one or two days. “If a retailer does not offer delivery in less than a week or two, consumers are more likely to abandon shopping that retailer and seek a retailer with shorter shipping times,” Adobe reported.

According to Adobe Analytics, in 2022 so far, curbside pickup has accounted for 19 percent of all online orders, among those retailers offering the service. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they use buy online, pick up in store.

Ninety percent of consumers surveyed said they want free returns, but if there is a fee, 57 percent said they are likely to not buy from that retailer again and 46 percent are likely to purchase the item from another retailer. Consumers also want the option to return items at stores (60 percent), via mail (56 percent) or at another return location close to where they live (46 percent).

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