CHICAGO, Nov. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the U.S. eCommerce, including Macy's (NYSE: M-Free Report), Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN-Free Report), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report), Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS-Free Report) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG-Free Report).
The 10 hottest individual product categories in ecommerce are women's apparel, books, computer hardware, computer software, apparel, toys/video games, video DVDs, health and beauty, consumer electronics and music.
Apparel is a huge market and although online sales are currently under 10% of total apparel sales, the category already generates the most dollars. Selling tools, such as zoom, color swatching and configurators are helping the process. Even primarily brick-and-mortar outfits like Macy's (NYSE: M-Free Report) sees that consumers purchasing through multiple channels (online and offline stores) tend to spend more. This is encouraging traditional retailers to offer an online store to supplement their physical stores.
Online sales also show better conversions since searches usually draw consumers with a prior intention to purchase. eMarketer estimates that apparel will be the fastest-growing category over the next few years, making up around 20% of total retail ecommerce sales by 2016.
The increase in technology purchases over the Internet is driven by not only individual consumers, but also companies and governments. The efficient and timely processing of orders, choice of payment options, subscription-selling and sales under the SaaS model are all facilitators. eMarketer estimates that online sales of consumer electronics goods will nearly double over the next four years to touch $80.2 billion by 2016.
The Association of American Publishers says that ebook sales in the U.S. grew 34% in 2012, following triple-digit growth in the four preceding years. With a penetration of just 16%, scope for market expansion is present. However, the shift in preference from e-readers to tablets that offer other forms of entertainment, such as movies, games, songs and so on, is a deterrent (a Bowker Market Research survey and wsj.com).
U.S. players continue to see strength in international markets. Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN-Free Report) and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report) are the primary channels facilitating international expansion, although Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS-Free Report), other smaller players and local companies in international markets are also playing a part.
Nearly 87% of the Internet-using audience in the U.S. watched videos in September. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG-Free Report) sites remained the forerunner facilitating online video consumption, with significantly higher unique viewers (UVs) than any of the others.
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