What Are The Most Popular Items Consumers Shop For Online?

  • By Jenny Schecher
  • in
  • on October 2, 2018

Online shopping has made the shopping experience more convenient for customers, changing the dynamic of the retail industry. Since you can now purchase items at the drop of a hat (or the click of a link) consumers tend to prefer online shopping over traditional in-store experiences.

“During an April 2017 survey, 40 percent of internet users in the United States stated that they purchased items online at several times per month, and 20 percent said they bought items or services online on a weekly basis.” Statisa reports.

Online Vs. In-store: A Debate

The other day, I found myself in a conversation with someone discussing what items we prefer to shop for online versus in store. The idea that some items were more appealing to shop for online as opposed to shopping in stores, made me wonder if this is a common debate among consumers.

I’m sure if you were to think on the top of your head what items you prefer to shop for online, you could come up with a few things. Better yet, figuring out what items you feel that you must shop for in-store, may be an easy task.

For example, if you know you need to try on a certain item for your own personal comfort level, like shoes, or sports equipment.  Maybe the color of the item online looks a little off, or you are unsure about the material. There are tons of reasons you may prefer in-store shopping to online.

From a retailer standpoint, knowing how customers are shopping online can put you in a unique position to target these audiences accordingly. Not only will answering this question provide you with insight that reveals what customers are shopping for, it answers the question of where they are spending their money and gives you a firsthand look into if your competition is sweeping their interests away.

What Customers Are Shopping For Online

PwC conducted a report that focuses on where customers are shopping for online, revealing top buying patterns of consumers. The categories that are found in the report include books, clothing and footwear, electronics, home improvement, furniture grocery, health and beauty, household appliances, jewelry, sports equipment, and toys. All items are vastly available online, and the majority of consumers take advantage of this fact.

Through this report, I discovered that consumers prefer shopping online for books, clothing and consumer electronics online the most. PwC reports:

“In the purchase journey for this product category, global shoppers looking at books, music, movies and video games are the most likely of all categories to research and purchase via an online channel, 68% and 60% respectively.”
“For clothing and footwear, 52% of global shoppers prefer to research purchases online…”
“For consumer electronics and computers, 62% of global shoppers prefer researching these purchases online…”

The rest of the categories still have a significant impact on consumers when it comes to online shopping, like health and beauty and household appliances.  The fact that the three above categories were most popular, comes as little surprise, considering they are most commonly needed items in the sector.

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PUBLISHED BY Jenny Schecher

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