Online retail sales for Thanksgiving hit a disappointing $ 5.1 billion. Product shortages and limited discounts may have dampened enthusiasm.


U.S. consumers spent $ 5.1 billion online Thursday, Adobe Analytics said.Isabel Pavie / Getty Images

  • Online retail sales during Thanksgiving were weaker than expected and stable from last year, according to data from Adobe Analytics.

  • Shortages caused by supply chain issues and dwindling discounts may have impacted spending.

  • Analysts say consumers should prepare for deep discounts in January as stocks arrive late.

Online retail sales over Thanksgiving were less spicy than expected.

According to data from Adobe Analytics, which tracks more than a trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, consumers spent $ 5.1 billion online on Thursday, which was on the lower end of its estimates. . Online sales remained stable compared to 2020, when they jumped 21.5% compared to 2019.

Increasingly, holiday shopping days in the United States have lost meaning in the midst of offers and discounts all year round.

But this year, product shortage warnings and less discounts Due to supply chain issues may have prompted consumers to shop earlier in the season to avoid disappointment, or to opt out altogether. Experts say consumers looking for big discounts this year may well be disappointed.

According to Salesforce data, the average discount from Thanksgiving was 27%, which is down 7% from last year.

Black Friday sales are already underway and Adobe estimates consumers will spend between $ 8.8 billion and $ 9.6 billion during the day, which is the latest estimate of the year.

But with mountains of inventory stranded on container ships or docks that might never make it to stores in time for Christmas, experts say we might end up seeing significant holiday-style sales in January.

“It’s only a matter of time before a late product hits lows and starts ramping up promotions,” a group of BMO analysts wrote in a note to clients earlier this month.

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