Online sales are on the rise at the start of the holiday season. Shortages are increasing.

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Expedited shipping in October was up 5.6% from the previous year, Adobe reported.

The time of dreams

The holiday online shopping season has got off to a modest start, with sales up 8% in October to $ 72.4 billion from the same month last year, according to new data from


Adobe
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Since the start of the year, Americans have spent $ 680 million online, up 9% from a year ago and 57% above 2019 level, according to Adobe (ticker: ADBE ), which provides widely used e-commerce and analytics software. Adobe has forecast a 10% increase in retail sales in the United States for the last two months of the year.

According to data from Adobe, more and more buyers are seeing out-of-stock messages, a sign of the supply chain disruptions plaguing many retailers. The number climbed 250% from January 2020, just before the start of the pandemic, and 325% from October 2019.

In the last month alone, consumers saw more than 2 billion out-of-stock messages. The highest out-of-stock levels were in electronics, jewelry, clothing, home & garden, and pet products, respectively.

Adobe also found that “buy now, pay later” orders fell 15% in October from a year earlier, a surprising reversal of recent trend growth. But Adobe predicted that usage of the service would increase later in the season as consumers make larger purchases.

Curbside pickup in October totaled 18.4%, roughly stable from the same month a year ago, while expedited shipping increased 5.6% from a year ago . Adobe expects both curbside pickup and expedited shipping to increase in the coming weeks “as consumers start to worry about shipping delays.”

Discounts in some key categories are lower than they were at the same time of the season a year ago, Adobe reported.

Electronics discounts stood at 8.7% at the start of November compared to October 1 prices, down from 13.2% at the same point last year. Discounts on sporting goods stood at 2.8% versus 11.2%. Discounts on home appliances were about 4.6%, compared to 10.2%.

In the tools and home improvement category, prices were up 1.2% from the previous month, down from a discount of 6.8% in the same period last year.

The most popular toys so far this holiday season included the Pop Fidget line, Got2Glow Fairy Finder, and Bluey products.

The best-selling electronics and devices were Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets, soundbars, Samsung and TCL TVs, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series S, air fryers, Roku Streaming Sticks , Amazon Fire TV Sticks, HP Laptops, Chromebooks, and Dell Laptops. .

Write to Eric J. Savitz at eric.savitz@barrons.com


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David A. Albanese