Currently, there’s a big buzz as to how big eCommerce is on a global scale. Entrepreneurs are anxious to know: Is there really a market for online retail?
eMarketer data shows that eCommerce is the only trillion dollar market ($1.6T USD in 2015) with a potential for a double-digit growth opportunity in the foreseeable future. It has paved the way for businesses to cross borders and grow their footprint without the hefty investments that you might have needed decades ago.
And with the innovations in technology and globalization, the most critical hurdles to facilitate business overseas have already been wiped out. So, if you’re looking to expand your business and you have not considered investing into eCommerce, there’s clearly something wrong with you. Really.
Out of these statistics, it’s no surprise that the US always tops the list that investors consider. However, the need for a hefty capital required to set up a business in the US, has emasculated some of most foreign entrepreneurs’ dream to “go forth and procreate.”
Back in the day, to generate a substantial footprint in the US, a business needed to dig deep into its pockets to support retail store operations—it’s because you can’t just have one store, no, no no! Unless you had Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, or Seth Godin working for you, the chance of making a dent in the US market is slim to none.
Back then, because the US is so huge, retailers needed to set up multiple stores to get noticed. This means that, unless you’re a big enterprise, you have no chance to grow your business. Yet, over these past years, the landscape has changed, all thanks to the eCommerce boom.
Although the US economy isn’t as promising as it once has been during its golden era, it is rebounding with the dollar continuing to pick up momentum, which means stability in any economic textbook. And judging by today’s figures, the US has proven that it is still a market that deserves the fancy highlight.
Currently, there are three markets that are thriving worldwide: the US, China, and the UK according to the 2015 Global eCommerce Index. The US and China are dominating the markets, accounting for more than 55% of the total online retail purchases in 2014.
In 2015, it’s no surprise that the US leads the pack with 79.3% online attractiveness score. China comes in a close second with a 77.8% tally and the UK with 74.4%. While the China and the UK also offers a turnkey future for businesses who will be able to employ spot-on strategies, the US is still undoubtedly the market to pounce into if you must siphon in serious investments. Here’s why.
Massive Market Potential
Regardless of the economic condition, the US is still one to consider a behemoth in terms of market potential because of its size, diversity, and infrastructure. Unlike other markets, US consumers are more inclined to make digital purchases. And this year, analysts estimate that around 63% of the US’ total population will buy goods online. In 2017, Forrester research analysts projected a $370B potential for the US eCommerce market.
If that isn’t a good enough projection for you, nothing else is. And with a population of more than 320 million, not to mention a per capita purchasing power in the region of $53,750, the US is still, undoubtedly, the largest B2C eCommerce market in the world.
Full Startup Support from Both the Government and Private Sectors
Because of the advent of eCommerce, businesses no longer need to have massive investments to enter the terrain, plus, they are no longer slaves to retail. Fledgling entrepreneurs and startups can now run and compete with the big fishes in the sea.
The US government has always been supportive of small businesses—all 27 million of them—and will continue to see to it that aspiring ones get the boost and support they need. Through a White House initiative called “Startup America,” the government aims to dramatically accelerate the economy’s ascent by inspiring and empowering aspiring entrepreneurs to leap forward at doing business in the US.
They must be doing something right because how else could a slumping industry generate around 60-80% of all US jobs?
Startup America, through a full range of private and public initiatives and federal agencies, help startups:
- Get access to capital and financial support
- Educate and mentor Americans on how to improve their quality of life, expand their financial capabilities and help others by generating jobs
- Promote and commercialize research and development initiatives of the government to generate innovative startups and give rise to new industries
- Promote collaboration between large companies and startups
Thrive in the US, Thrive Worldwide
Ever wonder how much Vanilla Ice made in his “Ice, Ice, Baby” single?
Yes, you’re still reading the same article. My point is, this one-hit wonder has made millions of dollars enough to spend in his lifetime and for what? And that’s for topping the US hit charts with one horrible song.
That’s how great the US market is; it leads global trends. Once you’re in, you’re a royalty everywhere you go. Make a household name in the US and you’ll be as hot as One Direction. Hot globally. Yes, even in Siberia.
Marketing Is Not as Challenging
Don’t get me wrong, every market is a challenge to conquer. But what other regions lack that the US can leverage is the language coherence. You can just go away with one translation on your eCommerce site and that is English. This means zero costs to allocate for translation and more resources to direct to running the business.
For entrepreneurs, every penny saved is enormous. Ninety percent of the US population can be reached using English online marketing, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re making an impression to a large chunk of the market. You can worry about the other ten percent when you have established your business.
So What Should You Do Next?
If you are convinced that the US is a market you should definitely prepare to conquer, then what you need to do next is make a business plan and gather your minions for some much-needed briefing. The statistics provided above reflect the current market condition and a forecast of what to expect, but onboarding and penetrating the marketplace is another story. And another session or two to discuss what is needed.