The story of the last few years has been eCommerce. Startups have grown into conglomerates rivaling traditional giants like Walmart and Unilever.
The number of people shopping online continues to increase. According to reports, over 75% of Americans have shopped online. Similar stats abound about shoppers in Europe and other affluent countries. Koreans and Chinese are among the world’s fastest growing eCommerce markets.
Yet, online sales account for less than 6% of total global retail sales. But the trends are surely changing, as shown by increasing market capitalization of eCommerce giants. Alibaba is valued in excess of $350 billion, almost twice the size of Walmart, which saw a decline in 2015, its market value estimated to be around $200 billion.
While the biggest market-players in eCommerce have already established themselves and will continue consolidation, smaller players still have a lot of scope to grow. One way to increase business and carve out a piece of the retail pie is by focusing on products with the highest demands or those offering the biggest margins.
Here, we have a list of the top trending products according to research and reports of the biggest online shopping stores around the globe.
Surprising as it might be, considering all the hoopla about the death of print and publication going digital, books continue to attract buyers. It is estimated that over 600 million books were sold online in 2015. The biggest driver of books sales is the Harry Potter series, with close to half a billion units sold through the internet over the last decade.
One only has to think of Amazon, the eCommerce giant, which started off as a bookseller. Today, it’s easily the world’s most popular online marketplace. Only recently, Amazon eclipsed Walmart as the biggest retailer by market value, closing in on $250 billion.
Innovations and changes in practices has made jewelry purchases extremely popular online, making a wide range of products available to the consumer. Customization and superior customer service has also enabled sellers to charge a premium for this luxury product with high margins.
In terms of sheer volume, smartphones remain the most sought after product. IPhone units continue selling like hotcakes, over 500 million units bought through the internet so far, with Samsung’s Galaxy its major challenger. Other smartphone manufacturers have also benefited from marketing their products online. Despite high sales volume, the profits for sellers are marginal due to high competition and standard pricing. But they are the ideal products to attract traffic and use to leverage other, more profitable products.
The popular of designer clothes can be gauged by the number of specialized portals offering it. All the leading brands have their own digital stores. Smaller brands are also doing roaring business online. With high margins on offer, a savvy digital marketing plan can greatly enhance revenues and generate profits for eCommerce portals. Within apparel, also, there are multiple niches, with menswear, women’s apparel, children’s clothes, casual, designer, etc., each one offering huge revenue potential and a large customer base.
From HD television sets to the electric kettle, extension cords to decoders, electronics are extremely popular among merchandisers for the high profit potential and never-ending demand. The only concern for buyers is of warranty and repair service, which can affect online sellers negatively if not handled appropriately.
While these are the most popular categories, there are other products and categories that have proven extremely successful over the years. Computer hardware and software buying is fast migrating online, and the industry has seen extensive growth through eCommerce. DVDs and music also has a huge, insatiable market.
Video games also are being bought and sold online with unbelievable regularity. The Mario Brothers franchise has had an extremely profitable online run, while the Sony PlayStation gaming console is the most popular single product online, with 350 million units sold through the internet.