Online inflation is beginning to ease

Online inflation is beginning to ease

The latest Adobe Digital Price Index (DPI) finds online shopping prices still increasing YoY but at a slower rate. In April 2022, prices showed a 2.9% increase over April 2021, but missed the record breaking 3.6% YoY increase seen in March. April was the 23rd consecutive month of online price inflation, but more than half the categories tracked by Adobe showed a price decrease from March to April.

Powered by Adobe Analytics, the DPI is based on one trillion visits to retail sites and over 100 million SKUs across 18 product categories.

Why we care. The surge couldn’t last forever. The combination of limited supply and pandemic-spurred demand saw digital shopping take off like a rocket in 2020 and 2021. Prices evidently took off too. The slight flattening seen in the latest DPI might reflect consumers moving back to brick-and-mortar shopping, but might also reflect wavering consumer confidence in the economy as a whole.

Is there a message here for marketers? Double down on loyalty. Use frictionless commerce experiences and brand trust to help build it. Consumers are ready to shop around again and the competition is only a click away.

Dig deeper: Adobe CEO says make the digital economy personal

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More details from the DPI. “As the cost of borrowing and economic uncertainty rises for consumers, we are beginning to see the early impact on both online inflation and spend,” said Patrick Brown, VP of growth marketing and insights, Adobe. But there’s still a lot of digital spending going on: 

  • In April, consumers spent almost $78 billion online, representing 4.5% growth YoY.
  • Online spending in the U.S. grew at much greater rates YoY in January (12.2%) and February (15.5%).
  • 13 of the 18 categories tracked by the DPI saw YoY price increases. The five categories where price drops were seen were electronics, jewelry, books, toys, and computers. 
  • MoM price drops were seen in electronics, office supplies, jewelry, books, furniture/bedding, toys, home/garden, flowers/related gifts, computers, and apparel.  
  • Groceries stood out as continuing to surge in price (closely tracking the Consumer Price Index). Prices rose 10.3% YoY, a new record.

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