Top Online Shopping Categories

The latest figures rank apparel as the most popular product of all online purchases. Of all the worldwide in 2018, more than half, or 57 percent, to be exact, bought clothes online. 

Considering the fact that there are just over 4 billion internet users, that means 2.28 billion people on this planet have purchased clothes online roughly three times the population of Europe.

Apparel is followed by footwear at 47 percent and consumer electronics at 40 percent which make up the top online shopping categories and reflect the popularity of online purchases of apparel-related and electronics products. 

Despite increasingly easy access to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, and the popularity of ebooks and online games, internet users still purchase physical copies of books, movies, music, and games. At 36 percent, it comes in in fourth place and remains one of the top shopping categories of internet users. 

Even perishables are proving to be a popular product to sell online, with 28 percent of all internet users buying food and drinks online. 

Out of all the top shopping categories, fashion seems to be the clear winner, with three out of the ten most popular ecommerce categories related to fashion: clothing, shoes, and bags and accessories.

Top Online Shopping Categories in the US

There are 270.1 million online shoppers in the US, who contribute to over half a billion dollars worth of ecommerce sales in 2019. But their online shopping preferences are quite different to worldwide trends. 

Instead of clothes, “toys, hobby & DIY” is the top online shopping category in the US and is responsible for $168.4 million in revenue in 2019, or 30.7 percent of the total ecommerce expenditure. 

In other words, around one out of every three dollars spent on online purchases falls into the “toys, hobby & DIY” category. This figure is expected to rise 1.2 percentage points to 31.9 percent in 2023. 

Here’s a quick look at how the top online shopping categories in the US are expected to perform in terms of market share from 2019 to 2023:

  • Toys, hobby & DIY: Increase from 30.7% to 31.9%
  • Fashion: Decrease from 20.2% to 19.7%
  • Electronics & media: Decrease from 20.1% to 17.9%

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