When you need to buy something or reserve a ticket to go somewhere where do you turn? Do you head off down to your nearest town and visit a traditional mortar store or do you simply sit down and click? The trends for online shopping are showing that ecommerce is not just taking the world by storm but is taking over the world as we know it. A look into the Nielsen global survey of ecommerce report shows just how Internet businesses are continuing to flourish and prosper and leave traditional stores standing in the side lines.

Technology has changed the way we shop forever, and society will have spend more than $1.5 trillion on ecommerce sales in 2014, an astounding rise of 20% from the figure set for 2013. The consumer survey carried out by Nielson tested 22 different consumer categories including computer software, event tickets, baby supplies, and staple household goods and groceries, showing a rise in all categories although some significantly more than others.

Hot selling categories

When we take a look at the way ecommerce is growing, it’s important to look into the different categories to see just which ones are booming and which ones are expanding out of control (OK, there are a few ones that didn’t take off yet). While non consumable items such as entertainment and travel related products enjoyed the very best increase in sales, all categories enjoyed a growth since 2013 bringing home the fact that ecommerce is here to stay and will continue to grow and outgrow the traditional market place.

Online shopping has enjoyed another shift in recent years from home PC to mobile device, many people simply using their mobile handset to book a train ticket or even a holiday. The hottest selling categories for 2014 so far include electronic goods and travel tickets; and almost half the people who were interviewed for the online survey stated that they would make an online reservation or buy an item of clothing online in the next six months.

Groceries were noted to be the slowest category to grow, growth being up just 5% from 2011 to 2014, falling way behind cosmetics that now enjoy a 31% of sales online. Not only are there hot selling categories, but there are marked differences between different countries, Asia and regions such as Korea and China enjoying the largest growth for shopping for both consumable and non consumable goods.

Growing trends: consumables vs non consumable goods

Entertainment sees a huge growth in online sales since 2013, but other categories such as baby supplies and pet supplies are also enjoying a surge in sales. The reason for the difference in growth between consumables and non consumables is quite easy to comprehend; when you buy a train ticket online you know exactly what you are getting, but if you by a kilo of steak mince or a lettuce then you don’t know what you are getting until it arrives on your doorstep. It is taking the consumer longer to gain a level of confidence for the purchase of consumable goods, the consumer using trial and error until they find their favorite store playing a large role in the difference of percentile increase sales.

Looking in more depth into the Nielson survey, it is possible to see just which categories are on the up and which are slow to grow in the different continents worldwide. One category that has been seen to rise both in Europe as well as Asia is that of baby goods; baby supplies such as diapers now make up 29% of total sales for the category in China. After all, a diaper is a diaper, and when you have tried a brand once you know just what you are buying each time you place an online order.

Event tickets and e-books are showing a huge rise in sales, airline and hotel tickets also showing a huge growth. Worldwide almost half of hotel bookings are now carried out online, the same figure of around 46% being shown for clothing. Groceries such as alcohol are still standing at a figure of 17%, the same figure being found with car parts and accessories. What this boils down to is the fact that there are some articles you simply need to see and touch before you buy; although sales in all categories in the Nielson survey were up for 2014, a 5% increase for groceries as opposed to a 19% increase for tickets and reservation remains profound.

Why shop online: lower prices and greater convenience

The Nielson survey showed a marked difference between different countries around the world, third world and developing countries where all households do not have Internet access still being slow on the uptake for online shopping. But, the western and modernized world is relying more and more on their tablet or mobile device for almost everything nowadays. As well as the availability of Internet for shopping, the western world enjoys a far faster pace of life, making shopping online easier and simply more convenient.

When you compare traipsing down to the mall to a travel agent or getting in the car to go to the train station to reverse a ticket to simply clicking online, it is easy to see why more and more people enjoy making their reservations online. It is not just convenience that is drawing more and more people into the ecommerce market however. Shopping online saves you money, and not just on transport and parking costs.

When you shop online you can take advantage of promo codes, and cut prices that are available only to the online shopper. These lower prices and the ease with which you can select and purchase goods are two extremely important trending factors that are persuading the consumer to simply leave their car parked up in the driveway and click online and do their shopping from home. With the first half of 2014 seeing huge increases in ecommerce shopping, the second half of the year and 2015 are set to see even higher increases that will continue to change the way we shop forever.