This high level of internet penetration and the geographical make-up of the country lend itself to strong ecommerce adoption; the US Department of Commerce reported e-retail sales were worth $305bn in 2014 and growing at a rate of 15%.
Key categories include electricals (22% of total) and apparel & accessories (20%). With this in mind, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the majority of the top 10 US online retailers are multi-category.
As with all markets, there are peak trading events and the US leads the way with Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November with Black Friday being the following day and Cyber Monday the following Monday. The first two promotional dates have long been in the diary although online has added a new dimension to both occasions.
Mobile (smartphone and tablet) is now responsible for over 30% of all ecommerce sales in the US. This is a trend that is set to continue and changes the way in which shoppers interact and trade with brands. Smartphone shopping outstrips tablet slightly at 14% vs 13%. By way of example, in August 2014 over 158 million US consumers interacted with retail brands via their apps or mobile sites.
In 2015, smartphone-enabled online retail sales were expected to reach nearly $28bn.
With a rapidly-growing base of social media users (expected to be 200 million by 2020), retail brands are adopting this key communications channel. Users interact with brands differently depending on sector, partly based on product value (reassurance and research) but also on ‘social’ requirements value.
|Category||Percentage of Consumers|
|Baby / Toddler||56%|
|Health / Wellness||33%|
|Food / Beverage||21%|
Percentage of consumers that use social media during their shopping journey by category: Source, Deloitte Digital
Facebook is by-far the largest network but others, such as Pinterest and Instagram, can have key roles in certain sectors and age groups.
Google dominates the search landscape in America with 64% of total search traffic. However, providers such as Bing and Yahoo! have considerable numbers of users so while not necessarily the majority players in the market, they still represent millions of potential customers.
|Core Search Entity||Explicit Core Search Share (%)|
Source: comScore Explicit Core Search Share Report
According to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of FedEx (09/14), 76% of US online shoppers have made a purchase from a merchant outside of their territory.
Figures reported by Paypers.com showed that in 2013 34.1 million cross-border online shoppers would buy $40.6bn worth of goods growing to 41.8 million buying $80.2bn by 2018. US online consumers shopped with the UK (49%), China (39%), Canada (34%), Hong Kong (20%) and Australia (18%).
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