Online sales during this year’s holiday season in the US are forecast to grow 14.8% to reach a record $124.1bn, far outpacing the more modest growth of 2.7% expected at brick-and-mortar stores, according to a new retail study.

Tech firm Adobe says Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day of the year with $7.7bn expected to be spent, representing a 17.6% increase from last year.

The peak hours that day will be between 7pm and 10pm Pacific Time when Adobe expects these “golden hours of online retail” to drive more revenue than an average full day in 2018.

Thanksgiving Day sales are also expected to increase by an impressive 16.5% to $3.3bn, while one extra day between Cyber Monday and Christmas Day is likely to give retailers a $284m boost.

In addition, Adobe predicts that nearly $1 in every $5 spent this holiday season will transact between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.

And the company expects the big winners to be those retailers that have physical outlets in addition to an online presence – they are expected to see a conversation rate that is 28% higher than retailers who trade solely online.

“As online shopping surges with another record-breaking holiday season, the retailers with compelling websites coupled with physical store locations will have the advantage,” said John Copeland, head of marketing and customer insights at Adobe.

“Many shoppers want to interact with retailers’ products and the brand in-store, and the ability to pick up online orders in-store within a matter of hours can’t be underestimated,” he added.

For its comprehensive report, Adobe used artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to analyse one trillion visits to US retail sites, transaction data, in addition to a survey of 1,000 consumers conducted in October 2018.

The consumer survey reveals that nearly half (47%) expect to browse in-store for a product they intend to buy online later, jumping to 58% among millennials.

Meanwhile, smartphones continue to be preferred for online shopping, representing 48.3% of visits and 27.2% of sales, and voice-assisted shopping is on the rise.

About a fifth of those polled (21%) say they plan to reorder frequently-purchased items via their voice-activated devices, with another 17% placing one-time orders for in-store pickup.

Finally, Adobe predicts the best days for consumers seeking to grab a discount. Black Friday will be a good day for discounted electronics (33%) and TVs (22%), while toy shoppers would be advised to check out Cyber Monday (19%).

Sourced from Adobe; additional content by WARC staff