What you need to know

Electronics is among the most successful categories in online retail and is second only to clothing for purchase among online shoppers. Unlike other categories where fit, style and quality are more varied (eg clothing, accessories, footwear, home décor), electronics can be more effectively evaluated online based on descriptions. For emerging technology products (eg smart speakers, wearable tech), brand reputation, reviews, and performance specifications provide shoppers with the information needed to feel confident to make a purchase. For products that have stronger interactive and sensory components (eg gaming consoles, TVs, computers) store visits to experience a product firsthand remain a necessary step along the path to purchase.


This Report examines how consumers are shopping for electronics online and how that behavior has evolved. It also includes motivations for shopping for electronics online, what prevents consumers from doing so, and what online retailers can do to meet consumers’ needs.


For the purposes of this Report, Mintel uses the following terms:

  • Online shopper: internet users aged 18+ who have shopped online in the past 12 months (N=1,921)

  • Electronics buyer: internet users aged 18+ who have purchased electronics in the past 12 months (N=1,606)

  • Online electronics shopper: internet users aged 18+ who have purchased electronics in the past 12 months and typically browse for or purchase electronics online (N=1,452).

This Report builds on analysis presented in Mintel’s Online Shopping – US, May 2018; The Path to Online Purchase: Understanding the Consumer – US, December 2018; The State of the eCommerce Industry – US, January 2019; and Electronics Retailing – US, April 2019.

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