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U.S. online sales to grow 4.8% in crucial holiday season -report

U.S. online sales to grow 4.8% in crucial holiday season -report © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People shop during a Black Friday sales event at Macy’s flagship store on 34th St. in New York City, U.S., November 22, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo

(Reuters) – Online sales during the crucial U.S. holiday season are expected to rise 4.8% from a year earlier as retailers go all out to woo inflation-hit consumers with even bigger discounts and promotions, a report from Adobe (NASDAQ:) Analytics showed on Thursday.

The sales are also expected to grow at a much faster pace and hit $221.8 billion for the period between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 which includes some of the biggest shopping days such as Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving and Black Friday. That compares with $211.7 billion a year earlier.

Adobe said the holiday season would see heavy discounts this year, especially in the toys, sporting goods and furniture categories, with markdowns peaking at 35%.

Last month, Mastercard (NYSE:)’s SpendingPulse report forecast a 6.7% rise in online sales during the holiday season.

Retailers such as Walmart (NYSE:) , Target and Macy’s (NYSE:) prepare months in advance for the all-important season as it brings in nearly a third of the industry’s annual revenue in a good year.

With Amazon.com (NASDAQ:) hosting its second Prime Day sale in October, holiday shopping is expected to start as early as this month.

The Amazon event is expected to bring in $8.1 billion in sales for retail overall this year, Adobe said, adding that some cost-conscious shoppers may skip the costlier option of quicker shipping for standard delivery or curbside pickup.

Americans have been keeping a tight lid on their non-essential spending in the past two years as they feel the pinch of inflation.

Shoppers, especially the younger ones, are more likely to use buy-now-pay-later services to stretch their budgets, according to the report.

Adobe’s forecast relies on direct consumer transactions based on over 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail websites.

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