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What Do People Buy Online? Chart and Analytics



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*Photo credits to Daniel Foster.
The e-commerce industry have been vastly evolving in the recent years. However there are still some products in which people are still reluctant to purchase online. Take a look at what do people buy online and their respective market penetration. Find our what are the top products people buy online in today’s time.


The reason why people buy online is because of a few factors such as:

  • Convenience (Consumers can beat the hassle of driving and walking about shops)
  • Accessibility (Consumers can go online anytime and anywhere)
  • Speed (Consumers can browse through clear pictures of tens to hundreds products at once)
  • Range of selection (Consumers have more variety as they can easily navigate between different online shops)
  • Price (Items in online shops are usually cheaper due to external cost such as rent, electricity and staffs are negated)

The act of online shopping has become a largely growing trend especially towards the young adults, but are certainly slowly influencing the older generations as well. As you can see in this chart, the highest penetration are for book products. People are definitely willing to buy books online and has the highest penetration in the e-commerce industry in terms of what do people buy online. Consumer electronics are second in the list of the top products people buy online. People are willing to buy them because these items aren’t marked up as much as those in retail stores due to the running cost of operating a premise.

Some of the lowest penetration in the list would be home furnishing and groceries. Though the online platform has served justice to us in many ways, there are some products which consumers would not or are just not ready to buy online yet. Home furnishing is one of them because consumers may not actually get to have a real glimpse of the actual product before purchasing. The images shown online are virtual and it may be hard to have a precise figure of the actual product in terms of material, size, color and what not. Also consumers wouldn’t have the opportunity of inspecting the product before purchasing them. Hence, most home furnishing products bought online are towards the cheaper end ones. As for groceries, people aren’t ready to buy them online due to the limitations of choice. Consumers wouldn’t be able to practice the norm of selecting the finest meat or veggies as what they would have done in a grocery store, if they purchase their groceries online. Part of the issue would be the reliability. People usually only decide on what to cook on the day before or on the exact day itself, and the groceries bought online is not instant. Instant as in the arrival of the product. Consumers can easily drive out to their nearest grocery store and get them fresh off the shelves. General misconception is that groceries bought online aren’t as fresh as ones in stores, which is also partly why consumers are reluctant to buy them online.

So there you have it, the list and their respective penetration of the top products people buy online. Certainly this chart will change throughout the years. However, these numbers will certainly climb as the online industry can only head upwards. Now you know what do people buy online.


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