In the U.S., there are many globally popular EC sites such as “Amazon” and “eBay. Among these, demand for cross-border EC has been increasing recently, and many companies are planning to enter the market. However, it is not easy to achieve success in cross-border EC for the U.S. market now because there are many rival companies. In order to be successful, you will need to devise a number of measures and develop your cross-border EC in an appropriate manner.
In this article, we will explain why the need for cross-border EC is increasing in the U.S. and the important points to consider when entering the market. After reading this article to the end, please consider entering the U.S. cross-border EC market.
In the U.S., the market for cross-border e-commerce is expanding year by year.
Due in part to the impact of the new coronavirus infection, the market for cross-border e-commerce in the United States is expanding year after year. Accordingly, the need for cross-border EC continues to grow.
According to the ” Market Survey on Electronic Commerce” published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in July 2020, American consumers purchased 903.4 billion yen from Japan in 2019.
Although it does not reach China, with purchases of 1,655.8 billion yen, the overall market growth rate is higher, as the growth rate for China is 7.9, while that for %であるのに対し、アメリカは9.7%.
In addition, as the overall market for cross-border e-commerce continues to expand year after year, the U.S. cross-border e-commerce market is also expected to expand further.
Therefore, if you are planning to enter the cross-border EC market and sell products and services, you will need to incorporate measures for the U.S. as well.
Three reasons why the need for cross-border EC is growing in the U.S.
There are three main reasons for the growing need for cross-border EC in the U.S.
- Internet penetration
- Smartphone Penetration Rate
- Cashless Payment Penetration Rate
I will explain each one in turn.
Reason 1: Internet penetration
The first reason is Internet penetration. A study by Statista, a statistical research data platform, found that there will be more than 288 million Internet users in the U.S. as of 2020.
This represents more than 80% of the total U.S. population. As more people use the Internet, the number of people accessing e-commerce sites tends to increase, and the need for cross-border e-commerce is growing along with the Internet penetration rate.
Reason 2: Smartphone penetration
The high penetration of smartphones is also linked to the growing need for cross-border ecommerce. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, an American research firm, approximately 80% of Americans are smartphone users.
This figure is extremely high even by global standards, and the number of smartphone owners is increasing every year. Since cross-border EC can be used not only from PCs but also from smartphones, it can be said that the frequency of cross-border EC use will increase as the penetration rate increases.
Reason 3: Cashless payment penetration
The third reason is the growing popularity of cashless payments. According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2008, as of 2015, the %であったのに対し、アメリカのキャッシュレス決済比率は45% in Japan was 18.4, while the ratio in the %であったのに対し、アメリカのキャッシュレス決済比率は45%.
When purchasing goods and services through cross-border EC, cashless payment is used in most cases. In other words, the more widespread the use of cashless payment is, the lower the hurdle to using cross-border EC becomes, which naturally tends to increase the number of cross-border EC users.
3 Important Points for U.S. Cross-border EC
In the U.S., there are several major e-commerce sites, so you will not be able to beat the competition unless you are creative. If you are planning to develop cross-border EC for the U.S., keep the following three points in mind.
Point 1. omnichannel
Omni-channel is important in cross-border EC for the U.S. Expanding sales channels with omni-channel in mind will enable an effective approach to new customers. Omni-channel refers to a comprehensive approach to customers that integrates all sales channels connecting a company and its customers. Simply put, it refers to efforts to link sales in physical stores with sales on the Internet.
The reason why omnichannel is important for cross-border e-commerce to the U.S. is that the specialized e-commerce sites that are achieving results in the U.S. have not yet reached omnichannel optimization at this time. In the U.S. e-commerce market, there are already sites that have a high market share in their respective industries. While some e-commerce sites, such as Amazon and eBay, offer all genres of e-commerce, many sites specialize in specialized products.
There are many small and medium-sized e-commerce sites that handle those specialized products that started their e-commerce sites because their brick-and-mortar stores were not doing well. In other words, there is insufficient coordination between online and offline operations at this point.
When developing cross-border e-commerce for the U.S., it is extremely difficult to compete with large e-commerce sites. However, by focusing on smaller e-commerce sites that have yet to optimize their omni-channel, you can create as many opportunities as possible to enter the market.
Point 2: Utilization of SNS
The second point is the use of SNS. The main tools used by American consumers to gather information on Japanese products are SNS such as YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.
In particular, many customers are directed to e-commerce sites after reading posts on social networking sites, which indirectly leads to the purchase of products and services. According to an eMarketer survey conducted in 2021, social commerce sales in the U.S. totaled US$36.09 billion, an increase of approximately 35% from the previous year.
Since this social commerce sales volume is increasing every year, it is predicted that sales strategies using social networking services will continue to be important in the future.
Point 3: Product pricing
In cross-border EC for the U.S., we can say that you should focus on product pricing. This is because Americans tend to prioritize “low product prices” when using EC sites.
According to the PayPal survey, the most common response for using cross-border EC was “low prices for products. The second most common response was “I cannot buy that product in my country.
In other words, Americans tend to seek inexpensive and rare products when using cross-border EC. Therefore, in order to succeed in cross-border EC for the U.S., it is necessary to focus on pricing based on this trend.
Three major e-commerce sites representing the U.S. e-commerce market
The three main popular e-commerce sites in the U.S. are
- Amazon.com (Amazon.com)
- EBAY.COM (eBay)
- WALMART.COM (Walmart)
Understanding the characteristics and strengths of each will give you hints on how to succeed in cross-border EC for the U.S. If you are planning to sell through cross-border EC, please check the details below in advance.
1. Amazon.com (Amazon.com)
Amazon.com, which many of you may know as Amazon.com, is one of the leading e-commerce sites in the United States. Its headquarters is located in Seattle, Washington, and it accounts for approximately 50% of the market share in the United States.
In addition, the number of paying members in the U.S. is approximately 65 million, which means that about one in five people use the site. The number of paying members worldwide has surpassed 100 million, making it no exaggeration to say that this is one of the world’s leading e-commerce sites.
2. EBAY.COM (eBay)
EBAY.COM is one of the world’s largest cross-border e-commerce marketplaces, ranking third among the top 10 e-commerce sellers in the U.S., behind Amazon and Walmart, according to a 2020 study.
Although not that well known in Japan, it is widely recognized around the world, especially in the United States, but also in Canada, Germany, France, and other countries. In addition, the number of active users is about 180 million, and the company is expanding its share of the global market year by year.
3. walmart.com (walmart.com)
Walmart.com is another major e-commerce site, along with Amazon and eBay. Originally the largest retailer, the company started selling products online and created an omni-channel supply chain.
Walmart’s success from underperforming brick-and-mortar stores to online sales makes it the best example of omni-channel optimization paying off.
If you are thinking about online and offline collaboration, take a look at Walmart’s sales strategy. Note that in 2017, Walmart ranked second in the number of specialized retail users per month, behind only Amazon.
This article explains why the need for cross-border EC is increasing in the U.S. and typical EC sites.
The market size of cross-border e-commerce in the U.S. is expanding every year with the spread of the Internet and smartphones.
However, it is not easy to enter the U.S. cross-border EC market due to the large number of small and medium-sized e-commerce sites that are competitors. If you want to enter the cross-border EC market and achieve success in the future, please refer to the important points explained in this article.