Though it hardly seems possible, the year 2015 held a first for the Web. Clothing and accessories outsold computer hardware online for the first time ever, according to a new report.
As of 2015, customer dropped $51.1 billion in eCommerce purchases of apparel and fashion accessories as opposed to the $49.9 billion consumers spent computers and computer parts and accessories.
The comScore report published earlier this week also noted that both categories saw an uptick in sales between 2014 and 2015, but that clothing's 19 percent jump signaled a changing consumer orientation, considering spending on computers rose 5.3 percent.
“People are becoming more comfortable making small purchases online,” said Adam Lella, senior analyst at comScore and an author of the study.
That comfort is enhanced by services like Amazon Prime, which make all shipping free and available in two days. Not only has that in some cases doubled up purchasing on Amazon for Prime customers, it has also pushed more retailer into offering free shipping and free returns - which tends to stimulate purchases in clothing more than in computers.
Mobile shopping is also a driver of apparel retail - phones and tablets represented $15.6 billion in Q4 2015 sales - as opposed to $10.7 billion at the same time in 2014. Tablets and phones are more conducive to smaller, simpler purchases - like apparel - as opposed to electronics that require more decisions and comparison shopping.