Clothing Top-Selling eCommerce Category For The First Time Ever

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.




The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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