The good news for your business? Consumers there are well versed in shopping from cross-border brands, so all you need is an international shipping partner and you can take a slice of the very lucrative pie! Read on as we explore how to export to the USA, including the consumer trends and insights that will help your business tap into this thriving market.
Over the next five years, the USA’s e-commerce market is forecast to grow 64.76%, to hit a peak of 1.5 trillion dollars in 2028(2).
As of 2023, the country’s e-commerce penetration rate sits at a healthy 75%(3). With a population of over 340 million(4), that means a lot of potential customers for your business!
In 2024, average revenue per e-commerce user in the USA is expected to be $4235.12(5) – and it’s set to keep growing!
The country is the world's largest importer of goods, followed by China and Germany6.
USA’s top trading partners in 2022, by import value (in billion US dollars)7
Online marketplaces can be a helpful gateway for cross-border businesses wishing to sell to a new country for the first time.
Here are the most popular marketplaces in the USA, based on share of visits (April 2023)8:
The variety of products that can be purchased online in America is continuously growing. Within the US consumer base, clothing and shoes stand out as the top two preferred categories for online transactions.
Most popular categories for online purchases in the USA, as of September 20239
Consumers in the USA favor mobile wallets and credit cards over other payment methods, likely due to the widespread popularity and positive user experiences associated with mobile payment apps such as Paypal.
After all, research shows that 61% of e-commerce shoppers will abandon their cart if they cannot pay using their preferred payment method10.
Excellent/personalized customer service
In a US consumer survey, this was considered by respondents to be the main thing online retailers should prioritize.12
Fast and free shipping
90% of US online shoppers expect two- to three-day delivery as a baseline, whilst 30% look for a same-day service at checkout. 66% expect free delivery on all orders.13
62% of American consumers say that sustainability is an important consideration when they shop online, whilst 27% would be prepared to pay more for green delivery. 14
AI-enhanced shopping experiences
74% of US shoppers said they’re interested in using generative AI to obtain detailed information about products they’re considering buying.15 The technology is particularly appealing to Gen Z: 55% would like an AI assistant to simplify product discovery, whilst 51% want to try augmented and virtual reality experiences.16
Be sure to add these dates to your marketing and sales calendar so your business can prepare and cash in!
During the long weekend, many retailers run sales to shift leftover Christmas stock.
A time for people to celebrate their mothers and spoil them with flowers, chocolates and jewelry.
The Dads need some attention, too! They get their own day in June.
Actually a two-day event, this global sales bonanza attracts record numbers of shoppers through the e-commerce giant’s online doors.
The spookiest day of the year is a big deal in America. Join in the fun to get your brand noticed.
Originating in America, this sales weekend has now evolved into a global phenomenon. Be prepared to offer significant deals and discounts if you’re to stand out amidst fierce competition.
December entails a flurry of festive shoppers looking for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. And don’t forget about Super Saturday – the last Saturday before the big day when last-minute shoppers spend big bucks.
When shipping internationally, there are several pieces of documentation commonly required to clear your goods through customs smoothly and help authorities determine what import taxes and duties are due:
This dedicated guide goes into detail on each document, including what information you’ll need to complete it.
While proper documentation helps prevent customs delays, it is also important to be familiar with the customs clearance entry types and processes. Depending upon the shipment’s value, commodity and entry type, the customs clearance process will vary.
Several commodities are not permitted for shipment by DHL under any circumstances, following full consideration by the operational, legal and risk management teams. They include animals, hazardous or combustible materials, and illegal narcotics. The full list can be found here.
You’re in the right place! We know that the above guidelines may seem a little overwhelming, but that’s where partnering with DHL will pay off. As international shipping experts, we’ll support you through all customs procedures so that your shipment avoids delays. Sell to the world with DHL!Start your journey here
1 & 2 – Statista, November 2023
10 – DHL Global Online Shopper Survey data, 2023
13 – Shopify, June 2023