Here's A Look At Which E-Commerce Categories Are Growing The Fastest

Chris CrumeCommerce & Retail

Share this Post

E-commerce is booming, and the coming holiday season will only fuel the fire. New research finds that consumer purchase intent is skyrocketing for many e-commerce categories.

Do you expect your own online sales to increase significantly this year? Let us know in the comments.

Nielsen says online purchase intention rates for over half of the twenty-two consumer product categories it measures have doubled between 2011 and 2014. The categories seeing the highest growth are ebooks, event tickets, computer software, sporting goods, toys and dolls, music, videos/DVDs/games, baby supplies, flowers, cars, alcoholic drinks, and pet-related products.

Half of people surveyed, the firm says, plan on buying clothing or making an airline or hotel reservation using an online device within the next six months.

Not as many people are buying groceries or other consumable products online, it says, but there there is growth in that area. Here's a chart looking at the changes over the past three years category-by-category.

“While durable and entertainment-based categories are showing a substantial rise in intent, consumable categories like pet supplies and baby supplies are also gaining traction quickly,” said John Burbank, President of Strategic Initiatives for Nielsen. “While online transactions make it easy to download a book, buy a ticket to a sporting event or book a hotel room, building a consumer base for consumable categories requires more marketing muscle. Finding the right balance between meeting shopper needs for assortment and value, while also building trust and overcoming negative perceptions, such as high costs and shipment fees, is vital for continued and sustainable growth.”

"These shifts in stated purchase intentions are also supported by purchase data that indicates similar trends," Nielsen says. "The baby supply category is really taking off in China, Korea, France, the U.S. and the U.K. to name a few countries. For example, sales of baby supplies already comprise three of the top 10 most popular categories sold online in China (based on Nielsen’s retail measurement e-commerce market figures). Meanwhile, in Korea, baby supplies make up two of the top 10 categories, and in France, they account for five. Online shopping accounts for a substantial portion of total diaper and infant formula sales in China (29% diapers/23% formula), Korea (10% diapers/22% formula [hypermarket online sales only]) and France (5% diapers/5% formula)."

You can find the full report here.

On the B2B side of things, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business recently released data from its CMO survey (via Marketing Charts) finding that B2B CMOs in the U.S. expect e-commerce to account for roughly 10% of their sales to be through the internet in the next twelve months. That compares to roughly 15% for B2C CMOs.

Are you in B2B or B2C? What percentage of your sales do you expect to come from the internet in the next twelve months? Let us know in the comments.

Note: This article has been updated to include additional information.

Image via Nielsen

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.