For the eighth month in a row online prices have declined, according to the Adobe Digital Price Index

June 21, 2023 by
Frank Calviño

For the eighth month in a row, online prices have declined, according to the Adobe Digital Price Index, which analyzes one trillion visits to online retail sites and more than 100 million SKUs.

The index for April, released on Tuesday, showed a year-over-year decline in online prices of 1.8% and a month-over-month drop of 0.7%.

Eleven of the 18 product categories tracked by Adobe had year-over-year declines, led by computers with a 15.4% price drop during the period and followed by electronics (11.6%), appliances (7.1%), sporting goods (6.4%), toys (5.9%) and home and garden (5.6%).

Adobe noted that the 7.1% YoY dip in appliance prices was the largest decline in the category since the company began tracking online prices in 2014.

A combination of things has contributed to sinking appliance prices, according to Rob Enderle, president, and principal analyst at the Enderle Group, an advisory services firm in Bend, Ore.

“There’s been a demand reduction and, in anticipation of a recession, a reduction in appliance marketing,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “The result has been a decline in sales offset by price reductions.”

Adobe Digital Price Index per category  

April’s YoY price decline was driven by notable drops in categories such as appliances, which fell 7.1% YoY (down 2.1% MoM), the most significant YoY drop for the category since Adobe began tracking online prices in 2014. 

Prices continued to fall YoY in categories including sporting goods (down 6.4% YoY, up 1.5% MoM), toys (down 5.9% YoY, down 0.2% MoM), and home/garden (down 5.6% YoY, down 0.8% MoM). Steeper YoY declines were observed in electronics, which fell 11.6% YoY (up 0.5% MoM), as well as computers, which fell 15.4% YoY (up 1.9% MoM).

Although the grocery category has experienced persistent inflation, YoY price increases have now slowed for seven consecutive months. 

Grocery prices were up 9.3% YoY (up 0.4% MoM), a smaller jump compared with March 2023’s 10.3% YoY and February 2023’s 11.4% YoY increases. The rate of growth peaked in September 2022, when prices rose 14.3% YoY. 

For another non-discretionary category – personal care – prices were up 3% YoY (down 1.1% MoM), compared with 4.4% YoY growth in March 2023, and an even more substantial 6.1% YoY increase in February 2023.

Sports goods are now suffering the ‘price karma’

Adobe also pointed out that the price declines in sporting goods are coming at the end of an impressive string of price increases.

Before the current 12-month price dip, Adobe noted sporting goods prices rose for 28 consecutive months, starting in January 2020. Price increases peaked in September 2020 at 15.8% YoY, as more consumers stayed home during the Covid-19 pandemic and invested in products such as fitness equipment.

But now, these products seem to be suffering a form of price karma, as the demand for sports goods has rapidly declined. 

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