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Lessons from 2017: How to Thrive Online in the US Retail Market

Lessons from 2017: How to Thrive Online in the US Retail Market

It is estimated that American consumers spent a whopping $340 billion online in 2017. The US is renowned for attentive customer service; therefore, it is unsurprising that American consumers demand a much higher level of customer service than in most other countries. 

With online sales of physical goods projected to surpass $600bn by 2021, the US retail industry is clearly an important market for investment and growth. It is a complex arena for brands to compete in, even though consumers are often loyal to their favorite brands.

However, research conducted by Retail Week discovered that they more influenced by the cost and quality of a product, versus the brand that manufacturers. 

The study showed that 75% of consumers say that low price is the main influence on whether to make an online purchase, in comparison with the 64% who are more likely to be influenced by good quality.

Today, we have an abundance of choice, which enables us (as consumers) to be fickle when it comes to deciding what to buy, and who from. The plethora of options encourages us to be promiscuous consumers in an economy of abundance. 

To create brand loyalty, brands must find a way to stand out from the crowd and gain an understanding of what consumers would be “willing to pay” for their product. 

The State of Retail

What devices to US consumers shop on the most?

  • 43% via mobile
  • 23% via desktop
  • 21% via laptop
  • 12% via tablet

Over 25% of 18-24-year-olds shop online via their mobile on a daily basis. Yes, that’s right, DAILY.

18-24-year-olds are also 24X more likely to shop via Snapchat, than those aged over 55

31% of US consumers never use social media to shop online. However, 52% named Facebook as their preferred platform, if they do.

38% of US consumers have 2-3 different retailer apps on their cell phone.

Only 49% of US consumers are more influenced by the brand when purchasing, vs, price, and quality.

44% of US consumers use next-day delivery, with 59% viewing free delivery as the most important aspect of retailer fulfillment.

Interestingly, only 5% view free returns as an essential factor in their decision making. 

Click-and-collect is yet to gain traction in the US:

  • 2% collect via a locker
  • 2% collect via an approved vendor
  • 18% collect via the retailer’s brick-and-mortar store

For context, in the UK, 72% of all consumers utilize a method of click-and-collect

Statistics show that an estimated 66% of the US GDP results from the retail industry, there is no doubt that amazing opportunities still exist for the savvy brands that can find that “sweet spot” and know how to navigate the maze. 

Want some help standing out from the crowd?

We can make sure you're there to help guide customers, when they're ready to buy, wherever they are:  trywelcome.com/start 

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Best Customer Service Platform P­­artner - 2018 Eggie Awards

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