Prices of online goods have now risen for an unprecedented 15 consecutive months, just after what was a record-setting period of declines. Inflation is hitting all different types of products, including pet products, non-prescription drugs, clothing, furniture, and flower arrangements. The rise in digital sticker prices across the industry means online commerce transactions are soon to account for roughly $1 of every $5 spent by Americans, up from $1 of every $6 in 2017. Adobe Digital Insights’ economy index began reporting on online price trends in 2014, after noticing that they were seeing a dramatic reversal of a five-year pattern of annual price decreases. Increased online shopping, surging demand, and supply chain shortages have now made online price increases the new normal.
Last month, Adobe saw online prices grow 3.1% year after year. The 3.1% increase is more striking considering that from 2015 to 2019 online prices fell at an average rate of 3.9% per year. These price gains are happening during periods where experts normally see prices drop. Retailers tended to use heavy promotions to clear out excess merchandise at the end of the summer and to win customer loyalty as they complete their back-to-school shopping, which is not expected to happen this year.
Electronics were down 2.04% compared to an average decrease of 9.06%, while computers were down 6.97%, compared to a 9.24% average annual decline. One of the most significant shifts tracked by Adobe was in the non-prescription drug category, where prices were up 5.66% year-over-year in July, compared to a pattern of stable prices, with a five-year average increase of only 0.01%. Pet products were up 1.37% year-over-year, groceries were up 1.28%, and personal care items were up 1.23%, with apparel once again showing a double-digit increase, up 15.26% compared to July 2020.
For more information, please contact the attorneys at Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC.