by Jess Craig, 11/28/15
Forrester Research states that “approximately 69 percent of the US online population regularly buys products online, and those consumers generally purchase 16 percent of their products online.” So, what are consumers actually buying online?
Jewelry - Buying for your significant other has never been easier, especially when buying something as special as jewelry. Surfing through some of the finest online jewelry retail stores offers a ton of options, allowing everyone to find the perfect piece. Brick-and-mortar retailers are going online in order to meet the expectations of their customers and remain competitive. The best part? You may find something your local jeweler doesn’t carry.
Music Streaming Services - In the U.S., consumers spend more money on online music subscription services than CDs (when was the last time you listened to a CD?). Traditional digital albums are on the decline, and the rise of streaming services are up. 106 billion streams in 2013 to 164 billion in 2014, showing a 54 percent growth in on demand video and audio streams according to Apple Insider.
Healthy and Beauty - The online market for this industry is increasing. Merchandising sales of health and beauty products reached $38.1 billion in 2014 and are expected to grow 2 percent each year. It’s predicted, by 2019, sales are anticipated to reach $42.5 billion, reports WomensMarketing.com.
Toys and Video Games - With competitive brick-and-mortar shopping days in the U.S. that leave you angry and bruised, people are now turning to online toy retailers to avoid the hassle. The online toy sales industry is expected to grow 15 percent through 2014-15, reaching an estimated $66.4 million. Hasbro rolled out a program called Digital Access Delivery to ensure that instructional videos and product reviews are readily available online to assist customers in making the right buying decisions.
Apparel - Online clothing shopping has come a long way towards achieving consumer confidence. With engaging multimedia content, generous return policies, free shipping, in-depth customer product reviews, and of course a “reserve in store” option, going into an actual store location to browse is no longer necessary.According to eMarketer, 2013 online apparel sales were $44.7 billion accounting for 17.6 percent of the all U.S. ecommerce sales. Online apparel sales are expected to nearly double to $86.0 billion by 2018.
Electronics - For 2014, total industry revenue reached $211 billion, 2015 is expected to see industry sales grow by 1.2 percent with industry revenues reaching another all time high of $214 billion. Consumer Reports found that people who shop for electronics online are happier with their experience than those who shop in a store because of access to honest reviews and easy return policies.
Books - Perhaps the disappearance of book stores accounted for this shift in where books are being purchased, or maybe the disappearance was because of online ecommerce. Either way, this chicken or the egg scenario doesn’t matter to consumers who are accounting for more online book purchases than brick-and-mortar stores. The Association of American Publishers says that e-book sales in the U.S. account for 6 percent of the consumer book market. Plus, the percentage of adults with an e-reader has doubled from 14 million to 28 million. Forrester Research predicts that e-book sales will reach $3 billion!