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Monthly Market Spotlight: USA

Posted 18 August 2021

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The behemoth. As the world’s largest economy, statistics surrounding the USA’s market data are simply astounding. Consisting of a population that makes up less than 5 per cent of the world’s population, American citizens generate and earn over 20 per cent of the world’s total income.

With such a diverse population, conquering the US market is an ambition for most brands, thanks to the rewards on offer. The competition is fierce, however, so read on to get the latest market insights that will give you a leg-up to help your growth into this market.

USA: Key Market Data

The US’s e-commerce market is currently valued at US$759.4 billion, ranking it in second place between China and the United Kingdom.

Experiencing the fastest rate of growth last year in 10 years (31.7%), in part due to a change in consumer shopping behaviour because of the Covid pandemic, has meant US e-commerce sales have quadrupled over the last decade.

Digital Marketing in the United States

As of January 2020, there were 288.1 million internet users in the USA, equating to an Internet penetration rate of 87%, placing it behind many western European countries.

In the same period, there were 352.3 million mobile connections in the region, equivalent to 107% of the total population, which indicates that, as in many other countries, some citizens have more than one mobile device.

Rather predictably, in the country of its birthplace, Google is king of the search engines, responsible for 88.06% of searches in this market. Americans do appear to be more open to switching search engine, as this figure is lower than in other western countries.

Bing takes a 5.9% share of searches, followed by Yahoo! (3.1%) and Duckduckgo (2.44%). As a privacy-centric platform, Duckduckgo has gradually gained in popularity as users become more conscious of how their data is used.

Search Engine Optimisation

As one of the platform’s primary markets, optimising your US-facing website for Google is essential to achieving sustainable results online. New algorithms and features are often rolled out in the United States before anywhere else, so ensuring you are up to date with the latest SEO techniques and practices pays dividends.

If you already have a UK-facing website (or non-US English), localisation is important to ensure you rank for the most relevant keywords. Keyword research must be carried out in US English, and onsite copy should use the appropriate spellings, grammar and style for the US.

Social Media

With one of the highest social media penetration rates in the world, over 223 million Americans used one or more social media accounts in 2020. With over 73% of the population with active accounts, this figure is set to grow well into the future.

Facebook is the most used platform, with over 169 million users in this market in 2020. Next most popular is Instagram (121 million users), followed by Facebook Messenger (106.4 million users). LinkedIn is still the dominant player in the B2B space, and it doesn’t appear that any competitors will be encroaching on their market share any time soon.

Pay Per Click

Pay per click is still an effective channel in the US due to high levels of internet and social media penetration. It provides one of the fastest methods of getting in front of your desired audience, albeit at a cost. Facebook provides the best targeting options for pro-active marketing campaigns ideal for brand awareness. Google search ads offer the best conversion rates, thanks to the reactive nature of this channel. However, competition is stiff, meaning the cost per conversion can be especially high compared to other markets.

Email Marketing

With fewer restrictions as to how contact data is used in the USA as opposed to Europe, email campaigns make up a large part of overall marketing strategies for businesses selling to this market. Consequently, results tend to be slightly more diluted but not so much that this channel is no longer viable. Pan-industry, the average open rate in 2020 for outbound emails was 18%, with a 2.4% click-through rate and 13.3% click-to-open rate.


The US was fast to adopt ai driven chatbots to provide quick customer service and even qualify sales leads before they are distributed amongst salespeople.

Legal Requirements

Selling to the USA is not as straightforward as some would imagine as laws change state by state, and unlike the UK, there is no blanket value-added tax amount. As rules are constantly shifting, we recommend visiting the PWC website for the latest up-to-date information.

Conversion rate optimisation

Website Domain

Using a .com or .us domain is an important factor in creating trust around your brand for the US market. Americans are far less likely to purchase online from a TLD (top-level domain) they don’t recognise.

Website Design

US colour preferences are very similar to those of UK audiences, if not slightly more conservative. Gold and dark colour schemes are associated with higher value products and services, and green is very much linked to nature and scientific themes. Avoid red, as, although it can denote passion, it is also symbolic of rage for US consumers.

If you’d like some more information on how to be successful in the US get in touch today!


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