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United States: online sales on the rise

Mobile commerce by smartphone and possibility to sell online from Europe duty free for shipments under $800 in the US: A winning combination for selling in the USA

Selling online in the United States

The US's growing preference to shop unique and personalized products online and the expansion of e-commerce towards clothing and fashion accessories promotes typical products made in other countries other than the US

The smartphone has an ever greater influence in every cycle of the sales life cycle, from discovering the brand/product to checking in store prices and the actual online purchase

Use of the smartphone is having an ever greater influence on retail sales, whether they are online or traditional sales. To be successful, both online and traditional retailers must in any case meet the needs of their potential buyers who want to make a purchase or to quickly and conveniently find information using their smartphones.

In 2019, 44.7% of e-commerce sales in the United States were made from a smartphone. And according to the estimates of the research firm ìeMarketer Incî, online sales made from mobile devices will rise to 50% of all online purchases by 2020. Total online retail sales in the US of products only (therefore not including services and B2B sales] came to $343.1 billion in 2019.

In 2020, it is calculated that over $1,000 billion can be reached on the wave of the pandemic, which witnessed an increased percentage of online sales out of total retail sales in the United States from 16% to 34% within a six-month period.

July 2017 forecast

The research firm estimates that the sales of mobile devices (made that it is via smartphone and tablet) will increase by 32.7% in 2018, equal to a value of $208.29 billion compared to $157.02 billion of the previous year. This would represent 39.6% of all e-commerce sales in the United States. Most of them will be made using smartphones: in 2018 71.5% of sales will be generated by smartphones, and the remainder by tablet.

January 2021 reassessment

Actually this forecast proved to be incorrect since the final balance showed that the percentage of purchases by smartphone in 2019 was 37.6%

In recent years, American consumers have shown a rising interest in online purchases thanks to the instantaneous and omnipresent Internet access made possible by the smartphones and to the availability of product information, first and foremost the possibility to compare prices

Whoever buys online in the United States is looking for products with focus placed on quality and uniqueness

That is great news for European companies, for example, as they have always been more focused in the fashion sector and in the hi-tech sector.

American mobile shoppers look for quality and uniqueness, more than just low prices

Black Friday shopping in the United Stastes

Besides quality, those who buy online look for personalized products. In the USA, consumers expect e-commerce to offer a greater variety than traditional trade, and with vast possibilities to personalize the order..

It is an opportunity for companies around the world to sell their products online basing themselves on the quality and uniqueness of their local products. These are all characteristics that the American consumer appreciates. Moreover, orders and shipments to individuals in the US whose value is lower than $800 are not subject to customs duty and enjoy a simplified import procedure.

This leads not only to cost savings, but also to a more streamlined export process since calculating duty is unnecessary and clearing customs is faster.

In conclusion, the American consumer's new buying models together with duty exemption for orders and shipments under $800 represent a market opportunity for companies that want to sell online in the United States

US e-commerce update of April 9, 2019

According to the latest statistics provided by the US Census Bureau, for the first time non-retail sales of the general merchandise category in the USA were higher than sales through traditional stores.

In US Census Bureau terminology, non-retail refers to catalog sales [by now defunct] and e-commerce.

The general merchandise category comprises all B2C sales except for all types of food products. Let us remember that 75% of the US GDP is made up of the item Private Consumption.

It is another sign, should we still need another one, of how much e-commerce in the US has become part of the lifestyle of all consumer categories.

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