For first time, apparel outsells computers online:

Share this content:

Americans spent more money online last year on clothing than they did on computers for the first time, according to a report by Forrester Research for, a division of the National Retail Federation.

According to the 10th annual "State of Retailing Online 2007" report, the apparel, accessories and footwear categories totaled $18.3 billion in 2006. Spending is expected to reach $22.1 billion this year with an estimated 10 percent of all clothing sales to be done online.

"It's a big milestone for the industry," said Scott Silverman, executive director of, Washington, D.C. "When you think about retail, usually the first thing you think about is clothes. If you've achieved success in apparel, you've made it in retail."

The report, which surveyed 170 retailers, found that the apparel and accessories categories experienced strong sales because of the integration of new technologies into e-commerce sites, including rich imaging that allow customers to zoom and rotate items in different colors before buying.

Also contributing to the growth was an influx of new companies and liberal shipping policies, including free shipping on returns and exchanges.

Computer hardware and software came in third for online sales. Apparel now holds second place while the long-time leader remains online travel. In 2006, computer hardware saw $17.2 billion in sales; automobiles and auto parts $16.7 billion; and home furnishings $10 billion.

The report said 2007 online sales including travel are expected to rise 18 percent to $259.1 billion. Sales excluding travel will reach $174.5 billion.

Overall, online sales last year rose 25 percent to $219.9 billion. Excluding travel, online retail sales rose 29 percent to $146.5 billion, representing 6 percent of total retail sales in 2006.

The second part of the study, which examines tactics that online retailers found most successful and site features that resonated most with online consumers, will be released in September at's annual summit.

Loading links....

Next Article in Multichannel Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

DMN's Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here