Electronics, Entertainment: Top Online Shopping Gift Lists

Online shopping, once considered risky and cutting edge, has gone mainstream, and the trend just keeps building. In 2009, over 96 million people took advantage of Cyber Monday bargains and placed their orders for merchandise online. Just one year later, according to a USA Today report, those numbers topped 107 million-an increase of 11% in just one year. The increase in online shopping numbers for the previous year was just 4%, suggesting even more strongly that the ease of shopping from your desktop or on your cell phone is drawing more and more people every year. But what, exactly, are all these bargain hunters shopping for online?


As might be expected, computers and computer accessories rank high on the list of items people buy online. Shoppers hit major retail computer sites and computer manufacturer websites to scope out the best deals on laptop computers, desktop computers and computer accessories. In 2008, online sales of computer hardware totaled nearly $12 billion. Computer software sales added another $2.5 billion to that total.

Personal Electronics

Digital cameras, digital camcorders, MP3 players and other personal electronics are also high on the list. The Census department includes electronics with appliances for a total of over $13 billion in sales in 2008. Huge savings on MP3 players, camcorders, DVD players and digital cameras are a big attraction for online shoppers, who get even more bang for their bucks on sites that offer free shipping for high-ticket orders.

Video Games

Gamers are savvy to the ways of online shopping. While savings are a big draw to parents looking for gifts, gamers are looking for availability and they’d rather pre-order online and have the game shipped the moment it comes into stock than fight the crush at the mall on the off chance that the store has one more copy of their favorite title.

Perfume and Lingerie

Amidst all the hardware and upscale electronics, there’s a surprising soft spot in online sales popularity. Two luxury gift items, perfume and lingerie, come in high on the list. Shopping for these popular “girly” gifts online allow guys to avoid the discomfort of visiting enclaves of feminine shopping at the mall. What guy wouldn’t rather click on the perfume he knows his girl loves or order something sheer and sexy without having to endure the sidelong glances as he pokes through the racks at the lingerie store?

Sports and Outdoor

Is it any surprise that folks who like to spend their time traipsing through the great outdoors would rather place their orders online than subject themselves to the mall? Survival gear, GPS units, tents and outdoor gear rank high on the list of items people buy online. The higher-ticket the item is, the more likely it is that sportsmen and hunters will price-compare for it online, and often, ultimately buy it from an online retailer.

New models of online shopping attract even more people to click and buy. The hottest wrinkles in online marketing include coupon sites that offer big discounts for specific retailers and deal sites that offer loyalty points that unlock special deals and discounts for those who spend more and shop more online.