Top online shopping categories - SwiftERM

The latest figures on the top online shopping categories rank fashion as the most popular category of all internet purchases. Of the total ecommerce expenditure worldwide in 2021, consumers are forecast to spend $759.5 billion on fashion-related products.

That’s 27.9 percent of the expected ecommerce revenue worldwide in 2021, which stands at $2.7 trillion. Simply put, more than one in every four dollars spent by consumers online this year is spent on fashion.

That represents a significant portion of global ecommerce sales and a 15 percent year-over-year increase in online fashion purchases. However, it’s a relatively slow growth rate compared to the 26.5 percent increase from 2019 to 2020 and the 20.3 percent increase from 2018 to 2019. Analysts say this is a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has massively reduced consumer spending. 

The second-most popular online shopping category is toys, hobby, and DIY. More than $590 billion is expected to be spent on these products. Together with fashion-related products, expenditure in these two ecommerce categories is forecast to exceed $1.35 trillion in 2021. 

Electronics and media is the third-most popular online shopping category in 2021 and sales are expected at $542.4 billion. Even perishables are proving to be a popular product to sell online. $468.5 billion is forecast to be spent on food and personal care this year.

With expected revenues of $362.9 billion, the furniture and appliance category ranks fifth on the list of top shopping categories online. 


Focusing on the top ecommerce categories, fashion ranks first. Consumers are expected to spend $759.5 billion on fashion-related products this year, which makes up 30.4 percent of the total ecommerce revenue in the US in 2021. 

As with the global figures, this is also one of the slowest growth rates for fashion-related sales. At 12.4 percent, the 2021 year-over-year growth rate is significantly lower than the 19.4 percent growth rate in 2019 and the 23.3 percent growth rate in 2020. 

Expenditure on fashion-related products in the US, however, continues to rise. Total revenue from these products is forecast at $156.8 billion in 2022 and $168.1 billion in 2023.

Unlike the rankings of top online shopping categories worldwide, electronics and media is the second most popular category among US online shoppers. Revenue from this category in 2021 is expected to reach $100.1 billion.

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