Holiday sales; summing up buy now pay later's massive year - The Average Joe

    Holiday sales; summing up buy now pay later’s massive year

    Victor Lei β€” Head of Research

    December 1, 2021

    xrt

    December 1, 2021

    Black Friday and Cyber Monday numbers are in β€” with online sales on both days down compared to last year.

    What’s the big deal? This is the first time online Black Friday sales are down compared to the previous year β€” which grew a massive 50%. In all fairness, it would be tough to beat last year’s numbers β€” as COVID forced everything online.

    COVID impacts are changing shopping habits again. Inventory shortage concerns pushed holiday shopping earlier β€” with retailers scattering discounts throughout October and November.

    • 61% of consumers say they started holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.
    • Between Nov. 1-29, consumers spent 11.9% more than last year.

    Not to fear: This doesn’t mean sales will be down in 2021 β€” just that they won’t be as concentrated (via Techcrunch). Instead, Adobe expects holiday sales to break records β€” forecasting 10% year-over-year growth.

    Who’s benefiting? Buy now pay later (BNPL) β€” an increasingly popular payment option among shoppers.

    • In November, BNPL spending increased 422% compared to November 2019 (pre-COVID), via Adobe.
    • 8% of shoppers chose BNPL as a payment option β€” up from 6.1% last year.

    BNPL adopted a Silicon Valley “move fast and break things” mentality β€” worrying about regulations later. Since they’re not regulated like credit cards, they have no fee disclosure requirements or standards on credit reporting and payment schedules, via Protocol.

    In the UK and Australia β€” quicker adopters of BNPL than the US β€” regulations to protect consumers are already in place. US regulators are following behind closely β€” issuing warnings to consumers about BNPL, even bringing a case against one company.

    If 2021 was about speed, 2022 might be about regulations β€” potentially slow growth.

    BNPL’s massive year summed up:

    • Square (NASDAQ:SQ) acquires Afterpay for $29B β€” the second-largest BNPL company in the world (read).
    • Affirm (NASDAQ:AFRM) strikes a massive deal with Amazon (read).
    • Retailers including Target and Walmart stocked up on BNPL payment options (read).

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