NEW YORK: Online shopping fatigue set in across the United States and China as retailers in both countries posted mostly lacklustre results during both Cyber Week and Singles Day, two of the world’s biggest promotional events, according to the latest data.
US shoppers spent US$35.27bil (RM158.6bil) online overall during Cyber Week, the period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.
That’s a ho-hum 4% gain over last year at a time when US inflation is running more than 7%.
But the modest pick-up trounced the paltry 2.9% increase in sales during China’s Singles Day, an 11-day shopping festival ending Nov 11, hosted by Alibaba and other Chinese eCommerce firms.
From 2014 through last year, Singles Day posted growth rates of about 34% annually on average, versus Cyber Week’s 17% average gain, according to data from consultancy Bain and from Adobe Analytics.
Adobe Analytics measures eCommerce performance by analysing purchases at 85% of the top 100 Internet retailers in the United States.
Deborah Weinswig, founder and CEO of Coresight Research, said the US results were a “Christmas miracle” given that many retailers began to dangle early holiday discounts way back in October.
Amazon held a major Prime Day promotion in October.
Meanwhile, less travel among Chinese has dramatically changed what and how much they spend, Weinswig said.
Chinese shoppers bought vitamins, supplements and products for their pets’ health, spending 934 billion yuan (US$130.51bil or RM586.9bil) during Singles Day, according to consultancy Syntun.
Sales for Alibaba, China’s biggest eCommerce player, were flat, while newer, short-video eCommerce platforms such as Douyin and Kuaishou showed some sales growth, according to Citi analysts.
In United States, deep discounts gave nearly 197 million shoppers reason to open their pocketbooks to purchase Pokemon toys, TVs, footwear and air fryers, spending money both online and in stores this year during the key Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping periods.
That figure includes 130.2 million online shoppers, which rose 2% over last year, but at a slower pace, the National Retail Federation said on Tuesday.
Retailers focused their promos and discounts on consumer electronics and clothing, Weinswig said. — Reuters