Most Popular Online Shopping Categories
In the United States, the top online shopping categories in 2022 differ in terms of total revenue and overall popularity. While the top performing e-commerce categories by commercial success are gathered by total sales, the most sought after e-commerce segments by popularity assess purchases made by individuals within a 12-month period.
Since both of these perspectives are highly important and allow you to make an informed decision, it is crucial that you look into both of these aspects. After understanding which categories can perform well in terms of financial success and which ones have already surpassed others in terms of popularity, you can choose how to adopt them for your business model.
Top e-commerce categories by popularity
This looks at the most popular online shopping categories in the U.S. This ranking is defined by the percentage of Americans who purchased something from a respective e-commerce category in the past 12 months of the respective survey (between April 2021 - March 2022).
This includes the following shopping categories list and percentage of consumers who bought at least one item from the respective segment.
- Clothing - 53%
- Shoes - 42%
- Consumer Electronics - 30%
- Books, Movies, Music, and Games - 28%
- Personal Care and Beauty - 28%
- Food and Beverage - 28%
As outlined by the statistics above, the topmost e-commerce category in terms of popularity is clothing. It stands tall with 53% of Americans purchasing at least one article of clothing during the past 12 months.
This is closely followed by shoes. This category highlights that 42% of Americans bought footwear within the past year of participating in the survey. The top-third category is consumer electronics, which saw these products fetching the attention of 30% of Americans.
Meanwhile, the categories of books, movies, music and games; cosmetics and body care; as well as food and beverage stood with an equal 28 percent of Americans purchasing something from them. This makes these three e-commerce categories stand at a tie.
Top e-commerce categories by revenue
This outlines the top online shopping categories in the U.S. in terms of the total projected sales amount. These projected sales for 2022 outline how certain segments of e-commerce are set to grow this year. This gives you an idea of banking on e-commerce categories with the most potential.
This covers the following online shopping segments.
- Consumer Electronics - $219.33 billion
- Apparel and Accessories - $203.75 billion
- Furniture and Decor - $129.45 billion
- Health, Personal Care, and Beauty - $111.03 billion
- Auto and Parts - $86.26 billion
Out of a total projected sales amount of a whopping $1 trillion ($1,033.83 billion), the consumer electronics category takes the cake with $219.33 billion. Closely following it is the apparel and accessories category with $203.75 billion. This also makes both these categories corner more than 40% of total projected e-commerce sales in the U.S.
Meanwhile, furniture and decor comes at the third place with $129.45 billion in projected sales, while health, personal care, and beauty climbs to the fourth position with $111.03 billion.
This list of the Top 5 online shopping categories by revenue is closed with auto and parts, which comes with $86.26 billion in projected sales.
Overview of top categories
After taking a look at the most popular online shopping categories by both consumer activity and projected revenue in 2022, you may want to learn more about the general description of each category. Gathering this information can help you get your ducks in a row and be ready to elevate your business with proper planning.
To assist you with these tasks, here is an overview of shopping categories list that make the cut for their popularity as well as projected income.
Apparel and accessories
This category bundles clothing, shoes, and other apparel accessories. If you want to start your online store in an industry that shows consistent consumer demand and significant revenue projections, this could be a great fit for you.
Some of the items that are sold within this category include but are not limited to summer dresses, skirts, t-shirts, jeans, formal wear, sleepwear, and swimwear. The popular category of shoes also falls under this label and allows you to sell sought after sneakers and trendy heels to your target audience.
Together with apparel and accessories, it has also become the reigning champion of all e-commerce categories with its sky-high amount of sales since at least 2010.
Since consumer electronics is a vast segment, the products that you sell under this label can vary greatly in terms of their type and price. The best approach for you is to assess what your target audience may expect from you and decide upon the kind of products you want to offer.
Books, movies, music, and games
As outlined by the various labels of product types, this category has become one of the most expansive selection of items in e-commerce. However, it does not include streaming or digital downloads for media.
Instead, it refers to hard copies of books, movies, music, and games in the form of CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray. This could make a great addition to your electronic or hobby store, depending upon what type of audience you want to entertain and which groups of products you want to sell.
Health, personal care, and beauty
This category is all about helping consumers take care of themselves while also providing them with health and fitness equipment. In terms of projected revenue, it is just behind the Top 3 categories of apparel and accessories; consumer electronics; and furniture and decor.
This makes it a top category to have for many online stores. For instance, large retailers who offer everything under the sun could benefit from it just as much as small businesses that offer niche skincare products on their website.
Food and beverage
The food and beverage sales exclude any activity at restaurants for food delivery. Instead it only looks at edible products and drinks that are sold through online websites. In case you plan to succeed with your food products, you may want to go all in on this category.
For food and beverage, you can go through a variety of grocery, confectionery, and specialty drinks inventory. Depending upon your service areas and your partnership with shipping companies, you can learn how to deliver food items to your audiences’ doorsteps while prioritizing their health and safety.
Auto and parts
This category relates to new and pre-owned vehicles as well as their associated parts. Along with health, personal care, and beauty, as well as food and beverage, it makes up for more than half or 51.9% of total market share in e-commerce.
If you run a dealership, you can exclusively offer a certain brand of vehicles. Otherwise, you can also move forward with selling auto parts to join this competitive segment and take your revenues to the next level with consistent hard work and audience outreach.
Furniture and decor
The furniture and decor category had a boost during the pandemic where consumers were using these purchases to spruce up their homes. Now that people are getting back to work, the sales for these products still appeal to those who either love decorating or want to enhance their surroundings.
The products that you can offer under this label may include offerings such as couches, coffee tables, bed frames, and bookshelves. Apart from furniture, decor items could include products such as rugs, paintings, plants, and lighting fixtures.