4 Fastest Growing Categories in eCommerce

Entrepreneurs and small business owners are always on the search for new opportunities to grow their revenue. Being on the cusp of a new trend is how many online merchants have become successful, but anticipating new trends and acting upon them can be difficult.

If you’re searching for the next big thing in eCommerce, you may want to keep watch on the eCommerce product categories that are currently growing at a fast pace. With a trending product and the right marketing strategies, you could potentially find yourself in a lucrative new niche.

We examined the latest report from comScore to see which eCommerce categories were on the up and up. Without further ado, here are the four fastest growing retail product categories that you may want to consider for your online store:

1. Jewelry and Watches

The jewelry and watch market has exploded over the last two years and continues to grow at a fast pace. According to a Research and Markets report, the global jewelry industry is expected to surpass $257 billion this year as more online jewelry retailers join the digital market.

Why It’s Hot

Fine jewelry has been slow to take off in the eCommerce world, but now jewelry retailers have removed many of the barriers that were holding them back from the digital market. Now, both new and established jewelry makers are successfully selling online.

Meanwhile, growth in the smartwatch industry was fueled largely by the rise of connected devices and the Internet of Things in 2016. These products are growing in popularity with retailers as demand surges for them online.

Your eCommerce Strategy

Purchasing an expensive watch or piece of jewelry can be an emotional process for customers.  Because of this, sellers in this category need to be hyper aware of the customer journey and meet customer expectations at all touch points. With a powerful remarketing strategy, online merchants can capture consumer data to personalize the experience and help move customers further down the sales funnel.

2. Video Games, Consoles, and Accessories

Video games were the top-gaining digital commerce category in Q1 of 2016, but this category now comes second to jewelry and watches. Sellers in this industry have the benefit of targeting consumers who generally aren’t afraid to spend more money to get their hands on the latest games and consoles.

Why It’s Hot

Q3 is always a hot selling period for video games due to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and general holiday shopping. However, innovative technology is making the video game industry better all the time and creating anticipation among consumers.

Your eCommerce Strategy

The Q1 2016 comScore report found that video games were purchased nearly equally on mobile and desktop, with a slight preference for desktop. By the end of Q3, however, this changed dramatically. Mobile users made up 59 percent of video game purchases, with desktop users at 41 percent.

If you are selling products in this category, it’s essential that you optimize for mobile conversions. Gamers desire a responsive web design that is as graphic-rich as their games. If your website doesn’t meet their expectations, then they are unlikely to purchase from your online store.

3. Flowers, Greetings, and Gifts

Although this category is nowhere near the top-selling category in eCommerce (that title goes to apparel and accessories), it did show very strong growth in Q3 of 2016 and came in third for the fastest-growing categories. Companies such as Harry & David and 1-800-Flowers began experiencing a boost in growth last year, potentially signaling the increased opportunities in this category.

Why It’s Hot

The floral and gifts industry took a hard hit in 2008 during the height of the recession, but things are now turning around and providing greater opportunities for merchants in the online arena.  Now, consumers are more financially secure and can spend money on flowers and gifts.

Additionally, people enjoy the convenience of ordering gifts and flowers online that can then be delivered directly to recipients. Paying more for this service is now worth it for many consumers.

Your eCommerce Strategy

Similar to the video games category, flowers and gifts also experienced a significant increase in mobile purchases during Q3. With big-name companies such as 1-800-Flowers and Edible Arrangements dominating the market, it’s important for smaller online stores to show up on local mobile searches.

Another must for this category is developing a strong Pinterest marketing strategy. Pinterest is the ideal social media platform for florists and gourmet food companies because it gives them the opportunity to visually showcase their products and brand.

4. Apparel and Accessories

Clothing finally overtook computer hardware for the number one spot for the best-selling eCommerce category. In addition to being the best-selling spot, it also nabs the fourth spot for fastest growing eCommerce category.

Why It’s Hot

With free shipping, size-recommendation technology, and flexible return policies, eCommerce merchants are making it easier than ever for consumers to shop online for clothing. Now, consumers aren’t afraid of running into roadblocks if they need to return their items or swap for a different size.

Your eCommerce Strategy

Although growth in the apparel and accessories category has remained strong in the last few years, online merchants will be fighting for market share if they decide to pursue this industry.

Don’t let this discourage you, though. This category remains ripe with opportunities for those who think outside the box and are committed to building their brand.

Which of these industries are you most interested in? Continue the conversation on Twitter or Facebook!