(Reuters) – Online vacation spending in the United States is expected to grow at its slowest pace in at least eight years, as product shortages, higher prices and lingering uncertainties over the pandemic threaten to overwhelm tough shopping season.
Adobe Analytics predicts an average growth of 10% or $ 207 billion in online sales in November and December, up from a record 33% jump in 2020 when people chose to shop at home, instead of going to stores during the pandemic.
After struggling with virus restrictions in stores for most of the past year, retailers are now facing many pandemic consequences, including a bottleneck in global supply chains that could lead to a shortage of everything. , from Nike shoes to Apple iPhones during the holiday quarter. .
The lack of clarity on which items might be out of stock and when makes it difficult to determine whether product shortages could push consumers to buy more online or in-store, said Vivek Pandya, chief analyst at the store, on Wednesday. ‘Adobe Digital Insights.
Expected shortages and the risk of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases are also part of the reason for Adobe’s wider spending forecast range, between a 5% and 15% gain, Pandya added.
The 2021 growth, which is expected in part to be driven by higher product prices, is said to be the smallest increase since Adobe began tracking vacation spending data in 2014.
With companies raising product prices due to skyrocketing spending on raw materials and transportation, consumers are expected to pay 9% more between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday this year, Adobe said.
He said out-of-stock messages on retailer websites rose 172% at the end of July from pre-pandemic levels, with clothing stocks running out the fastest, followed by sporting goods, baby products and electronics.
To deal with potential inventory shortages, retailers are offering fewer discounts and looking to spread the sales season by encouraging shoppers to start holiday shopping earlier this year.
Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli