In December 2021, online prices increased 3.1 percent year-over-year (YoY) and 0.8 percent month-over-month (MoM). Meanwhile, consumer spending online for all of 2021 reached a record $855 billion, an increase of 9 percent YoY, attesting to the strength of the digital economy overall.
December’s price increases marked the 19th consecutive month of YoY online inflation and followed the record high of November 2021, when online prices increased 3.5 percent YoY. In December, groceries and apparel were standout categories, with grocery prices seeing their highest annual increase in more than a year (4.9 percent YoY, 0.7 percent MoM). Apparel increased 16.6 percent YoY (0.6 percent MoM).
The DPI provides the most comprehensive view into how much consumers pay for goods online. Powered by Adobe Analytics, it analyzes one trillion visits to retail sites and over 100 million SKUs across 18 product categories: electronics, apparel, appliances, books, toys, computers, groceries, furniture/bedding, tools/home improvement, home/garden, pet products, jewelry, medical equipment/supplies, sporting goods, personal care products, flowers/related gifts, nonprescription drugs and office supplies.
In December 2021, 12 of the 18 categories tracked by the DPI saw YoY price increases, with apparel rising faster than any other category. Price drops were observed in six categories: electronics, office supplies, jewelry, books, toys and computers.