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Agile Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Elizabeth White, Ian Khan, Liz McMillan

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Adobe Predicts Online Sales Will Reach $2 Billion This Cyber Monday, Growing by 18 Percent Over 2011

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today released its Adobe® Digital Index 2012 Online Shopping Forecast focused on the 2012 holiday shopping season in the U.S. and Europe. The Digital Index analyzed more than 150 billion website visits to more than 500 Adobe retail customers over the past six years in order to forecast sales growth figures and online shopping spikes for the upcoming season. Using predictive analytics technology, the Adobe Marketing Cloud can sift through massive amounts of historical data from the Web’s top retailers to identify patterns and algorithmically predict future results.

Adobe expects Cyber Monday 2012 online revenue for the retail sector to reach $2 billion, growing by 18 percent year-over-year. The company’s data analysis also predicts strong purchasing activity from mobile devices, with mobile representing 21 percent of total online sales this holiday, an increase of 110 percent over last year. Adobe’s online shopping predictions and actual results will also be available on an ongoing basis via a new interactive website that will continuously monitor and update online purchasing data as-it-happens throughout the season. The Adobe Digital Index 2012 Online Shopping Forecast infographic and interactive website can be accessed at

Key Digital Index Predictive Analyses for the 2012 Holiday Shopping Season

Biggest Online Shopping Days

  • Online retail sales are expected to reach a record $2 billion on Cyber Monday (November 26), the biggest online shopping day of the year in the U.S., representing a growth of 18 percent, year-over-year.
  • Black Friday (November 23) is expected to be the second largest online sales day of 2012 when retailers will see a sales increase of 12 percent, year-over-year.
  • While all retailers benefit from increased Cyber Monday traffic, Brick-and-Click retailers are the segment expected to see the largest spike on Cyber Monday, bringing in nearly 540 percent more than what they do on an average day in 2012. Online-only retailers are expected to see an impressive, yet more modest sales increase of 210 percent this Cyber Monday compared to an average day throughout the year.
  • Green Monday (December 10), the second Monday in December and also a high-grossing online sales day, is predicted to outpace Green Monday 2011 by seven percent. The typical retailer can expect to see a sales increase of nearly 150 percent compared to an average day throughout the year.
  • Free Shipping Day (December 17), when thousands of merchants offer free shipping online with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve, is also expected to grow by 12 percent year-over-year, particularly since it falls on a Monday for the first time since its inception five years ago. Mondays historically are the busiest online shopping days of the week.

Increase in Mobile Sales

  • Mobile is expected to represent 21 percent of total online sales during the 2012 holiday season.
  • Sales from mobile devices are projected to increase 110 percent this holiday season compared to last year, with sales from tablets constituting 13.5 percent of total sales, more than double that of smartphones (6.5 percent) and other devices such as e-readers (one percent).
  • On Black Friday, consumers are expected to use their tablets and phones to shop more than any other day of the year with 24 percent of online visits projected to come from mobile.

Social Media Influences More Purchasing

  • Social media referrals to retail point-of-sale websites this holiday season are projected to double compared to last year.
  • Out of these social referral sources, referrals from Pinterest are expected to grow the most, doubling from seven percent to 14 percent, year-over-year.

Holiday Shopping in Europe

  • European consumers are expected to start holiday shopping sooner and finish later than their U.S. counterparts. While online sales in the U.S. do not pick up significantly until Black Friday, European retailers were seeing average daily sales increase by 150 percent the first week of November and will see a similar spike the week after Christmas.
  • Mobile shopping is projected to increase in Europe this holiday season, with sales from mobile devices expected to double from six percent to 12 percent, year-over-year.

Additional Shopping Insights

  • Despite widespread discounts offered during the Thanksgiving weekend, the best deals will actually be found online the week before Christmas, not on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The largest price reductions are expected to come on Free Shipping Day.
  • Online jewelry sales will peak in mid-December, much later than sales in most other retail categories which will peak on Cyber Monday. In fact, the data forecasts online conversion rates to double for jewelry purchases on Free Shipping Day as jewelry is a popular last-minute gift.

Interactive Holiday Data Website

Adobe also introduced an interactive website driven by Adobe CQ technology that will be accessible at throughout the holiday season, allowing visitors to compare the accuracy of Adobe’s online shopping predictive analyses over time as well as uncover new shopping patterns and trends on their own as they emerge. Visitors will be able to compare various retail metrics such as “conversion,” “online sales,” “average price,” “visits” and more by distinct retail segments and product categories within the U.S. and Europe for any specific date throughout November and December 2012. Adobe will update the data daily so that visitors can always come back to find new information.


Brad Rencher, senior vice president, Digital Marketing Business, Adobe

  • “Rather than report on what happened after the fact this holiday season, we are leveraging big data captured by the Adobe Marketing Cloud to accurately forecast the trends before they happen. This helps our retail customers plan for consumer spending activity online to better monetize their holiday campaigns. Adobe is the big data company for marketers, helping them sort through and understand massive amounts of online and offline transactional information to uncover patterns that will help them better understand and drive their business forward.”

Adobe Digital Index Holiday Forecast Methodology

The Adobe Digital Index 2012 Online Shopping Forecast infographic and interactive website can be accessed here. The algorithms used to create the predictive analysis are based on more than 150 billion online visits to over 500 retail websites in the U.S. and Europe over the past six years. The margin of error is two percent with a 90 percent confidence level and the forecast’s methodology and degree of accuracy has been evaluated and verified by b3Intelligence, an independent analytics and research service provider.

Helpful Links

About Adobe Digital Index

Adobe Digital Index publishes research on digital marketing and other topics of interest to senior marketing and e-commerce executives across industries. Research is based on the analysis of select, anonymous and aggregated data from over 5,000 companies worldwide that use Adobe Marketing Cloud to obtain actionable data and analysis of activity on their websites.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit

© 2012 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe and the Adobe logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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