Online Prices Continued to Decline in October, Adobe Reports

Prices for products sold online decreased on a yearly basis for the second consecutive month in October, according to new data from Adobe released on Thursday.

In October 2022, online prices decreased 0.7% year-over-year but rose 0.3% from September, according to the latest Adobe Digital Price Index (DPI). What’s more, most of the categories tracked by Adobe – 11 out of 18 – saw month-over-month price decreases in July.

The October decline in prices was driven by categories including electronics, computers, toys and sporting goods, Adobe said. In the largest category in e-commerce by share of spend, electronics, online prices fell sharply as early holiday discounts kicked in, decreasing 12.9% from the same month last year. This is the largest recorded year-over-year decline for the category since Adobe began tracking online prices in 2014, the company said.

Pre-holiday deals also drove down prices for toys, which fell 7.1% compared to last year. Food costs remain high, however, as grocery prices rose 14% from last year. This jump follows September’s record high – up 14.3% – but is the first month of 2022 where the category’s inflationary price increases have slowed.

This latest data comes at the same time as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index for October. Inflation persisted last month, with consumer prices rising 7.7% compared to October 2021. This marks a slowdown from September’s 8.2% year-over-year growth.

Footwear prices also decelerated in October, and rose 2.7% over last year, the slowest year-over-year increase in 19 months, according to data from the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America. Men’s footwear was up 2.3%, women’s was up 3.2% and children’s was up 2.6%.

And the deceleration in price increases could be good news for consumers this holiday. Total sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 are expected to grow between 6% and 8% compared to 2021, according to the National Retail Federation. The growth would represent a total of between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion in sales, on top of last year’s record-breaking 13.5% growth to $889.3 billion.

This holiday season, 35% of shoppers plan to spend more than they did last year, according to PwC’s Holiday Outlook 2022 survey. High-earning young shoppers, these big spenders skew male and live in metropolitan areas. In addition to spending on their families, they will also spend more on themselves than the average holiday shopper.

Overall, consumers plan to spend an average of $1,430 on gifts, travel and entertainment this year — very similar to the $1,447 they spent last year, PwC reported. That’s up 20% over pandemic-ravaged 2020 and more than 10% over 2019.

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