Key Takeaways

  • Online consumers spent $222.1 billion in the 2023 holiday season, a 4.9% jump over last year, according to an Adobe Analytics report. 
  • More online shoppers are using “buy now, pay later” options, with their ranks growing 14% over last year, and by 43% on Cyber Monday.
  • Higher prices aren’t driving the increased online shopping total, with the report showing e-commerce prices were 5.3% lower as retailers offered more discounts to draw customers.

Americans set a new online holiday shopping record in 2023, with an increasing number of them choosing “buy now, pay later” options to fund their purchases. 

Consumers spent $222.1 billion online during the holiday shopping season of Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, a 4.9% year-over-year increase that set a record for U.S. e-commerce, according to data from Adobe Analytics, an online retail service provider.

“In an uncertain demand environment, retailers leaned on discounting and flexible payment methods to entice shoppers this holiday season,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. 

Results were bolstered by a strong Cyber Week, defined as the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, in which consumers increased their online spending by nearly 8% over last year, racking up $38 billion in sales. The season featured an 11-day streak where online retail sales surpassed $4 billion a day. 

Online spending was driven higher by increased demand, not higher prices, the report said. The Adobe Digital Price Index, which tracks online prices in 18 categories, said e-commerce prices fell 5.3% in December 2023 compared to last year. Retailers offered discounts across several categories to draw in customers, the report noted. 

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) hit an all-time high as usage grew 14% over last year, with November being the biggest month on record for the payment system. Cyber Monday saw the greatest single-day usage of PNPL plans ever, up almost 43% over last year. 

For the first time, more consumers used a smartphone or tablet to make online purchases, as opposed to a desktop, as mobile online orders made up 51% of sales this year.

The data showed that 65% of online shopping came in five categories: electronics, apparel, furniture, groceries, and toys.


By admin