Clothes are now the top-selling category online in the US

Not browsing for a hard drive.
Not browsing for a hard drive.
Image: Reuters/Andrew Kelly
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Clothing and accessories have long been big sellers online, but as of 2015, they’re the highest-selling category in the US, according to a new report by analytics firm comScore.

In three of four quarters last year, sales of apparel and accessories topped sales of computer hardware, the long-time leader in online sales. The figures include both desktop e-commerce and m-commerce, which comScore says was one of the main contributors to clothes taking the top spot.

“The Apparel category is experiencing faster growth than Computers, largely due to buying on mobile,” Adam Lella, a senior analyst at comScore, said in an email. “M-commerce is where most of the digital commerce growth is happening in retail overall, and people are more likely to purchase less expensive, less complex products on mobile (e.g. Apparel) than they are to buy computer products.”

At the same time, Lella said, growth of computer sales has slowed in recent years because more shoppers are using their phones as their primary computers.

One company already capitalizing is Amazon. A report by financial firm Cowen and Company last year said that Amazon’s sales of apparel were outpacing those of electronics and non-apparel items, and predicted Amazon would soon top Macy’s as the largest clothing retailer in the US. The e-commerce giant has been steadily sinking money into building its fashion presence online, even launching a live TV show.

But any clothing retailer with a mobile site stands to benefit, especially as more Americans shop for clothing to cure their boredom.