Clothing And Accessories Now The Biggest Category In E-Commerce

Image courtesy of Tom Richardson

What do Americans buy the most of online? Thanks to improved return policies and ever-expanding selection, purchases of clothing and accessories took the top spot in 2015 for the first time. That’s according to research by analytics company ComScore, which tracks online sales by categories, and noticed this important change.

We still buy plenty of computers, tablets, and computer parts online. Using the Comscore data for 2015, the Washington Post figured out that computers and tablets counted $51.1 billion in sales, which is not shabby. Sales of clothing and accessories
went up to $51.5 billion, though slightly taking the lead for the year.

They didn’t say whether that counts sales where someone buys three different items sizes of an item to see which fits best and keeps only one of them, but that’s one of the factors boosting online clothing sales.

Consumers more comfortable with ordering clothes online, but looser return policies and retailers that pay for shipping in both directions or allow returns of online orders to retail stores are important factors in making us more comfortable with the idea.

That’s especially impressive when you remember that department stores and clothing specialty retailers generally complained about their sales in the last quarter of 2015, saying that the weather was too good and customers weren’t coming in to buy winter coats or the rest of their winter wardrobes. Online, clothes and accessories outsold computers by $1 billion during that quarter.

The surprising thing that got the biggest share of online shopping dollars in 2015 [Washington Post]
2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus [ComScore]

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