The attractions of online shopping draw hundreds of millions Americans to the web every year. You can compare prices, read reviews, avoid crowds and checkout lines, track down hard-to-find items—and do it 24/7 without leaving your house (or, let’s admit it, your desk).
In 2016, 209.6 million people in the U.S. browsed products, compared prices or bought merchandise online at least once. (You won’t be surprised to hear that an overwhelming majority of them looked at Amazon.) These figures are projected to reach 230.5 million in 2021; worldwide, the number of people buying goods and services online is expected to top 2 billion.
Along with spending more time, online shoppers are spending more money. According to Statista, Inc., the global data-research firm, online spending worldwide will approach $5 trillion in 2021.
With tens of thousands of sites to choose from, consumers have gotten picky. Most expect free shipping. They like personalized recommendations but want to feel confident that their privacy is protected and their account is secure. They’re accustomed to VIP discounts and loyalty rewards. And shoppers differ in their demands. Generation Z consumers are more likely to buy on impulse than their millennial counterparts, for example, and millennials are far more likely than boomers to expect brands to keep track of their latest preferences.
Where should customers go for the best products, prices and service? Working with Statista, Newsweek compiled a list of the Best Online Shops. We ranked the top 1,000 shops across eight industries and 39 categories.
As the holiday shopping season approaches, we wish you happy online hunting.
Here are the ten online shops that garnered the highest ratings:
Garden & Craft
Leisure, Games & Hobby
Fashion & Accessories
The Best American Online Shops were identified after passing a number of tests based on 48 objective and subjective criteria. First, a list of more than 9,500 online shops in the United States was compiled using Statista and online databases, online directories and price comparison websites to identify the most relevant online shops. The online shops with the most American visitors in 2018 were selected as candidates for further evaluation. Online shops selling mainly digital goods (ex: airbnb.com, netflix.com), subscription-based shops, C2C marketplaces (e.g. ebay.com), B2B online shops, showcase websites and online shops that do not display their site in English were excluded. The online shops were then organized according to their main product offering into 39 categories. The online shops that passed the initial screening were then tested one by one by our analysts on 41 criteria.
Alongside these tests, an online survey of more than 8,000 American online shoppers assessed the shops on 7 subjective criteria (e.g. “The homepage is very clear and well structured”). A sub-score for each dimension was calculated. Based on these results, a score out of 10 was determined for each online shop.
The 1,000 online shops with the highest scores were then awarded “Best Online Shops 2020.”