Prices for ecommerce goods have been continuing their climb upwards. According to data from Adobe’s Digital Economy Index report, online prices rose by 3.1% during July when compared to the same month last year.
This number outpaces the 2.3% year-over-year increase for June.
Ever since last month, Adobe has begun to report on the prices of online goods. They decided to keep track because they were watching a huge reversal of a 5-year pattern of price decreases.
The problem here is that with higher ecommerce demand and supply chain shortages, online prices are ticking upwards. “Online inflation remains high and shows no signs of slowing down,” according to the Adobe report.
“As the digital economy expands online,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, “online pricing trends will have a greater impact on how we measure and understand inflation overall. Consider that in just the first seven months of 2021, consumers have already spent over $481 billion online, a staggering 61% increase over the same period in 2019.”
Due to the sharp growth in online shopping – ever since the beginning of the pandemic – it has become important to measure the inflation of online prices.
For a broader historical perspective, between 2015 and 2019, ecommerce prices dropped by an average of 3.9% each year.
Opening up Adobe’s analysis, it has started to track 18 product categories; price increases were registered across 9 of 18 categories – which in previous years registered decreases.
When compared on a monthly basis, online prices actually fell 0.7% from June to July. Yet to get a better understanding, annual comparisons are considered more accurate given that greater volatility in ecommerce prices versus offline prices results in monthly fluctuations online.
In the category “electronics and computers,” prices actually declined year-on-year. However, the decreases were much lower than the average declines in previous years.
For example, electronics were 2% down, yet in previous years it was 9%. For computers, they were down 7% compared to 9.2% in previous years.
One of the more striking stats to come from the data is that, under the “non-prescription drugs” category, online prices increased 5.6% year-on-year in July after a 5-year average increase of just 0.01%.
Elsewhere, the “pet products” category rose 1.37% year-on-year; the “groceries” category up 1.3%; and the “personal care” categories 1.23%. And the “apparel” category saw double-digit increases, up 15.26% when compared to July, 2020.
In fact, the only category to witness deflated prices that were below the 5-year average was “office supplies,” which was down 2.5%.