- Centered around Prime Day, retailers' online deal bonanza the week of Oct. 11-17 led to a 50% year-over-year surge in online spending, according to analysis from Deloitte's InSightIQ.
- Across the retail sector, spending was up 6% in the third week of October as sales events drove purchases and created a "kick off" to the holiday season, Deloitte said.
- For the first three weeks of October, consumer spending at mass merchants (both traditional and online) was up 10% to 30%, suggesting that group "will likely win this holiday season," according to Deloitte.
Retailers have been innovating ways to adapt to those consumers planning and carrying out their holiday shopping earlier, and nudge those not doing so already into shopping earlier.
October sales events helped draw in holiday shopping ahead of the Black Friday blitz, keeping more customers out of stores during what is becoming a deadly fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It could also help lift some pressure off supply chains in the later weeks of the holiday shopping blitz.
Amazon led the way when it announced, after months of delays, the October dates for Prime Day, which historically took place in July. Walmart, Target and others soon followed suit, planning their own deals for that week as they have in Prime Days past.
And, as Deloitte data showed, the events were a success, bringing massive increases in spending that outpaced the already strong e-commerce growth seen this year after the onset of the pandemic.
In keeping with the year so far, mass merchants such as Target and Walmart have been among the biggest beneficiaries of consumer shifts during the pandemic. The spending increases at those retailers have been purely digital. In-store spending actually decreased 14% year over year during the week that included Prime Day, according to Deloitte. Online spending, however, rocketed up by 83%. Those increases were driven both by an increase in unique customers and an increase in visits per customer.
Many of those same trends could hold throughout the holiday season. Walmart, Target and other generalists are likely to benefit from consumers trying to consolidate their store trips amid the pandemic, and also from a surge in consumers seeking curbside and store pickup services for online purchases. Amazon, meanwhile, has posted blazing sales figures throughout the year so far and has been rushing to build out capacity ahead of the holiday season.