The 2021 holiday shopping season has already begun, bringing with it new changes to how retailers operate and consumers do their shopping.
The pandemic is continuing to impact the holiday season, with retailers following last year’s practices of closing stores on Thanksgiving and extending the Black Friday sales period to give customers more time to do their shopping.
In a new report Adobe found that in October 2021, consumers saw over 2 billion out-of-stock messages online, which is up 325% compared to October 2019, which was pre-pandemic.
Of the 18 categories tracked, electronics has the highest out-of-stock levels currently, followed by jewelry, apparel, home & garden, and pet products.
It looks like consumers are beginning to understand the real impact of supply chain challenges. According to Taylor Schreiner (Adobe Digital Insights Director), “Some have begun to adjust their holiday strategy accordingly, with parents shopping for toys earlier and some settling for gift cards this season. For those who have not yet started their holiday shopping, they will need to be prepared to be flexible.”
And despite earlier deals this season, discounts are weaker across several categories, including electronics, where discount levels are at 8.7 percent, compared to 13.2 percent at this point last year; and Sporting Goods at 2.8 percent (vs 11.2 percent).
However, Tools/Home improvement are seeing no discounts at all, with prices up 1.2 percent, compared to a 6.8 percent discount last year.
And Toys are currently seeing bigger discounts than 2020 at 15.9 percent (vs 7.5 percent). (Adobe looked at Nov 6 prices relative to Oct 1, for the 2021 and 2020 discount levels.)
The data was provided as part of the Adobe Digital Economy Index. Based on Adobe Analytics data, the analysis covers over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories.