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We're Going to Spend $91 Billion Online This Holiday Season

Plus: why we're becoming lazier shoppers, when to find the best deals on clothing and more of Adobe's eerily accurate shopping predictions.
Photo: Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

Photo: Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

November and December are the biggest shopping months of the year. It's when retailers make a big portion of their annual revenue and when we consumers express our love for our friends and family by buying them stuff we hope they want. Each and every year, we buy more of that stuff online. And for years, Adobe has been analyzing those online shopping habits for its annual holiday online shopping predictions report, which accurately predicted consumer online spending within 2 percent in previous years: It's based on 1 trillion visits to 4,500 retail websites and 55 million SKUs; the company also surveys over 1,000 U.S. consumers and looks at 75 million social-media mentions. Here are the most interesting — and helpful, if you're looking for deals this holiday season — findings.

We're going to spend $91 billion online this season.

That's an 11 percent increase over last year, and there will be 57 days on which we'll collectively spend at least $1 billion. Cyber Monday will be the biggest shopping day of all time, with $3.36 billion expected to be spent on that day alone, followed by Black Friday at just over $3 billion. The period of shopping is extending, as 5 percent of shoppers plan to start shopping before Nov. 1 and more online shopping will take place in late December than ever before, which brings me to the next point...

We're getting lazier about holiday shopping.

It's not that we don't care, but retailers are making their online-shopping experiences better and more reliable, and adding convenient features like click-and-collect (a.k.a. in-store pick up), free shipping and even same-day delivery. Interestingly, Adobe's survey found that there's been a shift in why people shop online: Fewer shoppers are citing deals and free shipping, and more are citing convenience factors like product variety, no traffic/lines and the ability to shop while at work.

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That more shopping will take place in late December also suggests that we feel more comfortable doing last-minute shopping online, whereas that used to be what the overcrowded, nightmarish mall was for. R.I.P. malls.

Mobile-shopping traffic will surpass desktop traffic for the first time, but there will still be more conversion on desktop.

Also relevant to our increased laziness: we'll be "shopping" more on our phones than ever before. For the first time, mobile traffic will surpass desktop traffic. But while 53 percent of visits will be on mobile, only 34 percent of revenue will come through mobile, meaning that something about the mobile-shopping experience isn't cohesive enough for shoppers to feel motivated to actually make the purchase then and there. Average order value is lower on mobile, too.

You should shop for clothes on Nov. 22.

For whatever reason, Adobe found that the best deals on apparel will be found on Nov. 22. Jewelry? Thanksgiving Day.

You should also shop around more for better prices.

Adobe found that, on average, 25 percent of shoppers pay more than they have to for items that could have been found for a lower price elsewhere.

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