One of the best ways to detect and leverage ecommerce trends is to look at data on the fastest-growing consumer products to know which niches have the highest potential to perform. 

According to a recent study comparing retail ecommerce sales figures in 2020 and 2021, products in the apparel and accessories category are experiencing the biggest surge in sales. 

Total retail ecommerce sales from these products grew 18.9% in 2021, to a total of $194.94 billion. Not only does this make them the fastest-growing consumer products, it’s also among the top ecommerce categories in the US in terms of total retail ecommerce sales, second only to items in the computer and consumer electronics category.

The second-fastest-growing ecommerce category is food and beverage, with a year-over-year sales increase of 18.1%. Total sales from this category hit $53.42 billion. 

Despite its growth, food and beverage are products that consumers are least likely to purchase online. Together with auto and parts, only 4.8% of sales from these products came from digital purchases. In other words, there remains a very heavy lean from consumers to buy food and beverages in brick-and-mortar stores. This noteworthy growth, however, may be a signal that preferences are evolving quickly.

Health and personal care and beauty is the third-fastest-growing consumer products category, with sales rising 16.1% year over year in 2021. This is followed by products related to auto and auto parts, whose total retail ecommerce sales grew by 13.5%.

Rounding out the five fastest-growing ecommerce categories of 2021 is toys and hobby. Sales in this category increased by 13.1% in 2021 over 2020.

Sixth on the list of the fastest-growing consumer products are items related to books, music, and video. Sales from this category grew 12.5% to reach $53.85 billion in 2021. Incidentally, these are also products that consumers prefer to buy online the most, as opposed to in person. As many as 69.1% of the total sales from books, music, and videos took place digitally. 

Here are some of the other fastest-growing ecommerce categories and their sales growth from 2020 to 2021:

  • Furniture and home furnishings: 12.3%
  • Computer and consumer electronics: 9.1%
  • Office equipment and supplies: 8.5%
  • Other: 13.4%

On average, online sales from these fastest-growing consumer products grew 13.7% year over year.

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