It's barely Thanksgiving, and consumers have already spent $28.6 billion shopping online this month, 18 percent more than they did at this point in November last year, according to a report released Wednesday by Adobe Analytics.
Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, is expected by Adobe to be the largest online shopping day in history, with an expected $6.6 billion in sales. In all, online holiday spending is expected to generate $107 billion in sales, an increase of 14 percent.
In each of the first 21 days of November more than $1 billion in revenue was rung up, compared with 19 out of the first 21 days in 2016, Adobe said.
The strength in online spending is likely due to strong economic indicators, said Tamara Gaffney, strategic insights engagement group director at Adobe. It does not necessarily indicate a shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online, but rather an increase in spending as a whole.
That increase in overall spending is only expected to rise further, starting on Thanksgiving Day, when holiday season spending ramps up nearly exponentially. Early Black Friday sales will not significantly detract from this trend, said Gaffney, because shoppers are sufficiently trained to wait for the best discounts.
"The American consumer is an online shopping ninja now; they know they need to wait until they see sales drop further," she said.
Last year, holiday shopping got off to a slow start as the presidential election distracted shoppers. However, the pace picked up as the season went on. Adobe's forecasts for digital spending came just short before Thanksgiving, but spending after it ultimately surpassed expectation.
Through the holiday shopping year, consumers have spent 69 percent of their online dollars on their desktop, 21 percent on their smartphone and 10 percent on their tablet, according to Adobe.