It happened. Clothing finally took the top spot in e-commerce sales in 2015, outpacing computer hardware for the first time ever.
According to ComScore’s “2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus” report, published Thursday, apparel and accessories was the number one category for digital commerce in the first half of last year—briefly losing the lead in the third quarter only to regain it in the final three months—and reached a massive $17.2 billion in revenue.
The analytics firm attributed this growth to mobile commerce, which achieved a 19 percent gain year-over-year in 2015.
“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 (for example, apparel) than they are to buy computer products,” Adam Lella, a senior analyst at ComScore, told Quartz in an e-mail.
Indeed, the report found that consumers’ increasing will to shop on their smartphones and tablets helped overall digital commerce spend to surpass $90 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, marking its highest total yet.
ComScore also noted that digital’s share of consumer discretionary spending, which typically peaks in seasonally colder months, reached an all-time high of 15 percent in the last three months of the year. In fact, m-commerce growth is far outpacing desktop e-commerce, as well as brick-and-mortar, recording annual growth of 56 percent to contribute about $1 in every $6 spent online.
However, the report discovered that dollars are “significantly lagging” digital media time spent on mobile, accounting for 60 percent of time spent shopping online but only 16 percent of all retail revenue. This highlights the ongoing challenge of conversion, due to security concerns and smaller screen size, but ComScore said it expects this monetization gap will continue to narrow over time.