Adobe: E-commerce spending in 2024 has exceeded $330 billion so far

E-commerce spending shows positive trends in 2024.

The first four months of 2024 showed a significant increase in e-commerce spending compared to the same period in 2023.

According to new data from Adobe Analyticse-commerce spending from January 1 to April 30, 2024 increased 7% year-over-year to $331.6 billion. The first half of 2024 is expected to see over $500 billion in online spending, representing 6.8% year-over-year growth.

Adobe The analysis indicates that this growth was supported by stable spending in discretionary categories, including electronics and clothing, as well as continued growth in online grocery shopping. The numbers are not adjusted for inflation, but if online inflation were taken into account, there would be a larger increase in mainstream consumer spending.

In the first four months of 2024, consumers spent $61.8 billion online on electronics (up 3.1% year-over-year) and $52.5 billion on apparel (up 2.6% year-over-year). According to Adobe, both categories account for 34.5% of total e-commerce spend and have helped sustain revenue growth.

Grocery generated $38.8 billion in online spending, a significant increase with a 15.7% year-over-year increase. Another improving online category is cosmetics, which Adobe is profiling for the first time.

In 2023, beauty spending generated $35 billion in online spending, with Adobe growing 15.6% year-over-year. The upward trend will continue in 2024, with consumers spending $13.2 billion on beauty products online so far in 2024, up 8% year-over-year.

Online shopper trade is declining

One of the e-commerce trends identified by Adobe for the first four months of 2024 is an inflation-driven shift in online spending towards cheaper goods. For each category tracked by Adobe, prices are divided into four quartiles, from highest to lowest.

It then tracked the shares of homes sold in the most expensive and cheapest quartiles from January 2019 to April 2024. Adobe found that the share of cheapest goods increased significantly across all categories, including personal care (up 96%), electronics (up by 64%), clothing (increase by 47%), home/garden (increase by 42%), furniture/bedding (increase by 42%) and food products (increase by 33%).

The share of the cheapest goods increased less dramatically in sports goods (by 28%), household appliances (by 26%), tools/renovations (by 26%) and toys (by 25%).

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) continues to grow

Adobe analysis shows that from January to April 2024, BNPL spent $25.9 billion on e-commerce, an increase of 11.8% compared to the same period last year. Adobe expects strong BNPL growth through the end of 2024, with the flexible payment option expected to drive online spending by $81 billion to $84.8 billion, representing year-over-year growth of 8% to 13%.

Other arrangements

  • In the first four months of 2024, mobile spending was $156.9 billion, up 9.8% year-over-year. Adobe expects mobile devices to once again overtake desktops to account for 52.5% of online revenue share in the next holiday season (November-December 2024) (vs. 51.1% share online holiday spending in 2023).
  • Across all major marketing channels, paid search remains the biggest sales driver for retailers so far this year (28.2% of online sales attributable to this channel). Direct web visits (19.6%), affiliates/partners (17.1%), organic search (15.9%), and email (15.4%) also had a strong impact.
  • Revenue directly attributable to social media remained less than 5% of total sales, but this share increased by 5.2% year over year. Organic searches dropped 5.6% year-over-year, now generating 15.9% of total sales.
  • Strong consumer spending this year is driven by net new demand, not higher prices. The Adobe Digital Price Index, which tracks online prices across 18 product categories, shows that e-commerce prices have been falling for over a year (5.6% year-over-year decline in April 2024).

Adobe analyzes direct-to-consumer online transactions. The analysis covers over one trillion U.S. retail store visits, 100 million SKUs and 18 product categories – more than any other technology company or research organization. Adobe Analytics is part of Adobe Experience Cloud, used by over 85% of the top 100 U.S. online retailers to deliver, measure and personalize their online shopping experiences.