It was marine antifreeze in Alaska, and protein powder in California. Flannel shirts were tops in Wyoming and Green Bay Packer bath mats in Wisconsin. In Alabama it was crayons, and in Arkansas, the top selling online product on Walmart.com during 2017 was chocolate.
The list from Bentonville-based Wal-Mart Stores reveals the top-selling items by state last year and the varied items illustrate how diverse consumers are by geographic region.
The retail giant said shoppers in Nevada and New Mexico took top prize for their spend on dogs and cats. The top selling item in Nevada was dog treats and in New Mexico, cat food was the No. 1 selling item online.
Shoppers in several states ordered more toys than anything else from Walmart.com last year. The My Little Pony Mini Collection was the No. 1 seller in Idaho, with the LOL Surprise Dolls the favorite in Arizona. The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stage Chair was the lead seller in Georgia and online shoppers in Hawaii favored the Barbie Farmer Doll. In Tennessee, the Disney Infinity Power Discs were the best selling online item.
The retailer said school supplies took the top-selling prize of the year in three states: Crayons in Alabama, glue sticks in Maryland and erasers in Illinois.
GROCERY & NON-CONSUMABLES
States with a sweet tooth include Arkansas, as well as Washington where vanilla frosting was the top selling product. Folks in Colorado bought more M&M’s Peanut Chocolate Candy, and in Maine consumers favored brownie mix. In North Dakota shoppers bought more watermelon flavored gum than anything else.
There were five states where shoppers bought more beverages than anything else. Floridians bought sparkling cider, while folks in Louisiana purchased more root beer extract. Shoppers in Indiana bought instant coffee and consumers in South Dakota favored orange juice while grape flavored drink was the big seller in Ohio.
Food is a big part of what Walmart sells as the nation’s largest grocer so it should come as no surprise food and consumable items were top-selling products in several states. While the weather is cold much of the year in Minnesota, consumers bought more Flaming Hot Cheetos last year than any other product.
Shoppers in Washington D.C. purchased more Great Value French Fried Onions and shoppers in North Carolina like mayonnaise as it was the top selling product last year in that state. New Yorkers like Cheerios because that was the top-selling item in the Empire State.
Oklahoma shoppers bought more barbecue sauce than anything else, an interesting finding because Texas, North Carolina, Memphis, Tenn., and Kansas City., Mo. are known as some of the top U.S. barbecue destinations.
Non-consumables were the top-selling items in three states. Michigan consumers purchased more lavender scented cleaning products while shoppers in South Dakota chose to buy more pressed makeup powder online, the only state where cosmetics were the top selling item. Walmart shoppers in New Hampshire favored fresh breath and white smiles because they bought more cinnamon-flavored toothpaste than anything else.
Three states bought items to keep food and beverages cold or hot. Residents in Kansas favored the Ozark Trail Tumblers and coolers were the biggest selling item in Virginia, while folks in Massachusetts bought more refrigerators.
Northern Atlantic states had a varying degree of top selling items from Christmas lights in Rhode Island to spiced jelly in Delaware. Shoppers in New Jersey purchased more pool salt. In nearby Pennsylvania, plastic hangers were the best selling product online last year.
Oregon, one of the wettest states by total average annual rainfall, had a run on humidifiers, which were the best selling item at Walmart.com in 2017. Folks in Iowa purchased more water softening crystals than anything else. In Mississippi, one of the states battling high obesity, oil-less fryers were the top-selling items. Consumers in South Carolina bought more coin banks, while across the country in Utah consumers purchased more personal travel care kits online.
Shoppers in Kentucky used the retailer’s online photo service purchasing more 4 X 6 prints than anything else. This was the only service offering to make the top spot last year.
Consumers in three states favored entertainment. Texans apparently favored TV wall mounts. Montana shoppers, who don’t have their own professional football team, favored Madden NFL Video Games. Connecticut shoppers spent big on the Ghost in the Shell DVD last year.
Walmart.com releases this list annually because it illustrates how diverse the retailer’s online offerings have become the past 18 months. The retailer now says it offers more than 70 million items online, up from just 7 million in 2015.
E-commerce accounts for just about 3% of Wal-Mart’s total revenue but it remains the fastest growing segment in the company’s portfolio. Sales growth is forecast to reach 40% this year and while that looks impressive, analysts remind that the business remains small compared to Amazon.
Charles O’Shea, a retail analyst at Moody’s, said Wal-Mart plans to keep pushing online sales.
“It is clear that Walmart intends to continue to turn up the heat online,” he said. “We still believe Amazon’s lead in online retail is insurmountable, however, Walmart continues to widen the gap between itself and all other brick-and-mortar retailers by leveraging its unmatched physical resources, including stores and supply chain, and in the process is providing consumers with a compelling online alternative to Amazon.”
He said the expansion of grocery pick-up locations for online orders should help lift Wal-Mart’s position in the grocery industry and continue to boost online sales. Based on the number of states that had food or grocery items as the top-selling item online that is already happening.