Over the last few years in the United States, ecommerce has become a major part of the American business landscape. It all came to a head last year on Black Friday, when ecommerce sales reached a new high. According to Adobe Marketing Cloud, U.S. shoppers spent $5 billion online during Black Friday.
If that number is any indication, shoppers are moving online faster than ever. Almost more astounding is the fact that Amazon was credited for 44 percent of all U.S. ecommerce sales; CNBC reported in January 2018 that Amazon equated to 4 percent of all U.S. retail sales in 2017.
The ecommerce market in the United States is booming, and it’s presenting prosperous opportunities for big companies like Amazon to cash in — but it also presents an opportunity for smaller companies to gain momentum if they make the transition online.
Consumers want efficiency, accessibility, and reliability
Ecommerce and online sales won’t be slowing down anytime soon as more businesses replace or supplement their brick-and-mortar locations for online platforms. Amazon may continue to be at the forefront of ecommerce innovation but, with many businesses moving online, there’s going to be an increase of online purchasing activity in the next five years.
One Click Retail says in their report on Amazon that the top products purchased by Americans online fell into four categories:
- Electronics at $8.5 billion
- Home and Kitchen at $5.5 billion
- Publishing at $5 billion
- Sports and Outdoors at $4 billion
Forrester Research Inc. expects online sales to represent 17 percent of all retail sales in the United States by 2022. Researchers at Statista also believe that by 2022, U.S. shoppers will spend roughly $638 billion online — that’s nearly a $300 billion markup from 2016!
The numbers are clear and hard to ignore. Businesses are moving online, as consumers express more interest in making purchases from their laptops or smartphones.
But consumers don’t flock to ecommerce simply because of the practicality and accessibility. They are going online because they’re presented with a wide variety of options that are hard to find everywhere offline.
NRIs in the United States have a golden opportunity
The United States is one of the largest economic marketplaces in the world. With the advent of sustainable ecommerce, they’ve quickly become one of the highest grossing countries for online retailers, alongside China.
So, why is this good for non-resident importers in the United States?
An NRI can tap into the U.S. ecommerce market if they meet at all the standards that consumers expect from online retailers, i.e. speed and accountability.
And as an NRI, importers have the advantage of bringing goods in from overseas, or just across the border in Canada, all while competing on a level playing field as the rest of the U.S. businesses. Bringing goods from outside of the U.S. also allows the NRI to be unique enough from its competitors because they can carry a more varied stock.
NRIs should employ a customs broker
While the prospect of gaining entry into a booming ecommerce marketplace is fairly enticing for any NRI, the proper paperwork has to be done. The U.S. border is still the gateway into the country and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection still require the proper paperwork and tariff classifications in order to import goods into the country.
Employing a customs broker will help ease the hassle that comes with importing goods as an NRI. And it’ll allow business owners to stay focused on the task at hand, which is to penetrate the ecommerce market.
At Clearit, we offer an NRI program for Canadian and worldwide NRIs in the United States in order to ease them into the busy and competitive market. For more information about the program, contact us today!