Media and Electronics Still the Ecommerce Mainstays

For most product categories, in-store purchasing remains dominant

September 29, 2017

The National Retail Federation's new report on consumer attitudes found that for most product categories, the majority of purchases continue to take place in physical stores.

Media products—books, music and video games—are the most likely to be purchased online, while groceries are the least likely, the report found.

The NRF's survey, conducted by Toluna, found that 37% of US consumers said they bought most of their media products online, compared with 27% who purchased mostly in-store. The remaining 36% said their purchases were roughly equal across the two channels.

By comparison, just 3% of respondents said they mainly purchased groceries via digital channels, while 86% primarily shopped in stores.

The results are in line with earlier studies, such as a survey from Market Track that found books, toys and games, and entertainment were the most likely categories for US consumers to prefer to purchase digitally. That was followed by cameras and accessories, computers and tablets/smartphones.

These preferences are also mirrored in other countries. An August report from the UK's Office of Communications (Ofcom) found that "entertainment" products such as books and movies were most likely to be purchased digitally, while groceries scored at the opposite end of the spectrum, with 79% of respondents preferring to buy in physical stores.

Photo by Jens Kreuter on Unsplash