An independent contractor from FedEx Corp. unloads parcels from a delivery truck on Monday, December 2, 2019 on Cyber ​​Monday in New York (USA).

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

According to Adobe Analytics, online purchases in the U.S. during the 2020 vacation grew 32.2% from 2019, reaching a record $ 188.2 billion as shoppers stayed at home and shopped online during the pandemic.

November e-commerce sales, which included Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, hit $ 100 billion for the first time, said Adobe, which tracks the web transactions of 80 of the top 100 internet retailers in the US. In another first step, online spending exceeded $ 1 billion per day during the 2020 holiday season and 50 days over $ 2 billion, Adobe said.

“”In light of the pandemic, digital is the number one way for people to connect, work, chat and shop, “said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights.” Now that Covid-19 cases continue to rise and the lockdown is tightening – Measures return, online spending is likely to remain elevated for at least the early part of 2021. “

Groceries, appliances, and books all grew in popularity over the holidays compared to October, Adobe said, while online toy sales grew 50% and jewelry increased 66% from 2019.

Internet spend during Thanksgiving Week through Cyber ​​Monday only accounted for 18% of the entire season, up from 20% in 2019, Adobe said. With retailers promoting deals earlier than ever before, many Americans started shopping in October to avoid crowded aisles during the pandemic.

Retailers like Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods, which offer curbs and other convenient pickup options for online orders, saw even stronger sales over the holidays, according to a separate analysis from Salesforce. Digital revenue rose an average of 49% year over year, compared to a growth of around 28% for retailers that didn’t have roadside pickup and similar options, Salesforce found.

Buyers have also looked for ways to fund their purchases and avoid running out of their credit cards. Salesforce said the use of “buy now, pay later” for online ordering increased 109% during the holidays, with the largest ramp-up occurring in the last week before Christmas.

Now the surge in e-commerce activity will result in record volume of returns that could emerge as the next biggest problem for retailers over the next year. Salesforce expects $ 330 billion in online purchases to be returned worldwide after the 2020 holiday season, representing approximately 30% of total purchases.

“We expect these new innovations to persist in 2021 and vacation strategies to become the new standard consumers have come to expect from their preferred retailers and brands,” said Rob Garf, vice president of Industry Strategy for Retail, Salesforce.

Read Adobe Analytics’ full 2020 Holiday Report here.