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US Retail Ecommerce Sales Highest for Computers, Consumer Electronics

Digital spending on books, music and video will grow at the fastest rate

April 11, 2014 | Retail & Ecommerce

eMarketer expects total US retail sales to hit $4.732 trillion this year, with ecommerce sales reaching a greater-than-ever share of the total. And as retail ecommerce reaches levels of mature, sustained growth, it’s having an effect on patterns across category sales.

US Retail Ecommerce Sales, by Product Category, 2012-2018 (billions)

No one category is growing significantly faster than another, eMarketer estimates. Digital spending on media such as books, music and video will continue to increase at the fastest rate. Meanwhile, the food and beverage and office supplies categories are at the bottom end of the growth curve, increasing 15.2% and 15.1% in 2013, respectively.

Yet no category was more than 2 percentage points above or below the 16.9% increase in overall US retail ecommerce sales in 2013, and that trend will remain consistent throughout our forecast.

US Retail Ecommerce Sales Growth, by Product Category, 2012-2018 (% change)

This means that eMarketer does not expect shifts in how the total amount spent on ecommerce in the US is doled out by product category. Computers and consumer electronics products, which currently have the greatest share of any category, at 21.8% projected for 2014, will stay in first place, with 22.1% of the total in 2018. Similarly, this year’s No. 2 apparel and accessories category will inch up from 17.1% of total sales this year to 17.5% in 2018, when it will still be in second place.



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