It’s make or break time for U.S. retailers as the Thanksgiving holiday rolls in this week and the shopping phenomena known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday follow along. Expectations for this holiday shopping season have been both bright and a big muted. The National Retail Federation, for example, predicts total retail sales will rise by 4.1% year-over-year, but then last year the NRF forecast sales growth of 2.8% and sales growth was double that estimate.
The online shopping season officially kicks off on Cyber Monday, and Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) has forecast that sales will top $2 billion for the day, up 18% year-over-year. Adobe analyses more than 150 billion visits to over 500 retailers and bases its predictions on six years of historical data. Adobe is also forecasting that online Black Friday sales will rise 12% year-over-year.
The other important feature of Adobe’s research is the number of visits generated by mobile devices. The company sales table sales are expected to account for more than 13% of all mobile device sales, just more than double the sales generated by smartphones. In total, Adobe expects 21% of all online sales to come from mobile devices, more than double last year’s total.
Overall, online holiday shopping is expected to rise between 15% and 18% according to comScore Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR). Online sales totaled about $37.2 billion during last year’s holiday period, up from $32.4 billion in 2010. On Cyber Monday last year, spending reached about $1.25 billion. Total holiday online spending could go as high as $44 billion this year, based on comScore estimates.