Representing one of the largest global economies, the United States is a very attractive market for potential cross-border e-commerce retailers. The fact that over 70% of the online consumer population has made international purchases is another reason it’s a good market to get into. There are, however, some important aspects to consider before launching an e-commerce business targeted to US shoppers. The country consists of 50 states and is partly governed by its federal government and partly by the states’ own governments – each having its own individual structure, law and taxes.
Huge Consumer Retail Market
The US has a high level (87%) of Internet penetration. It is an excessively consumer-driven society where retail has always been a strong sector with annual sales of USD 3.5 trillion. E-commerce accounts for approximately 10% of this figure. Online marketplaces account for a sizeable part of total e-commerce sales.
The largest markets for cross-border online consumers in the US are China, the UK and Canada, and the most popular product categories are Clothes & Footwear, Cosmetics, Jewelry and Home Electronics. The main reasons for shopping from another country are competitive prices and the ability to find products not available at home. Many of the purchases are made on laptops with devices such as smart phones and tablets being used by around 15% of the consumers respectively.
Delivery and Payment Options
When it comes to different online payment methods, almost half of US online consumers prefer to use credit or debit cards. PayPal also has a strong position in the market with around 15% regularly using its services.
US online consumers are generally quite sensitive about costs connected to shipping and delivery. A majority think that free shipping is a very strong reason to buy a product online as well as getting specific information on total shipping and delivery costs. Studies have shown that 60% of online shoppers have abandoned their online shopping carts when surprise additions of other costs made the order more expensive than what was first expected.
Population: 318 million
Languages: English (80%), Spanish (13%)
Currency: Dollar (USD)
GDP: USD 17.3 trillion
Internet Penetration: 87%
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