The pandemic has fueled an offline-to-online shift and driven exponential growth across the global ecommerce sector, growth which is likely to continue even in a return to normalcy, according to Forbes. In fact, experts forecast that half of the absolute value growth for the global retail sector over the 2020-2025 period will be driven by digital ecommerce. In this rapid shift, the US, being the third-largest online market worldwide and the homeland of online marketplace giants, will play an essential role.
Brands and retailers looking toward expanding their online consumer reach will find ample opportunity in the US market. With 85.8% of their citizens already online, the US is a mature consumer market with a well-established ecommerce sector. Predominantly, significant enterprises that manage marketplace platforms drive the strength of ecommerce in this territory, including eBay, Amazon, and Walmart.
As was the case in other countries, the pandemic sent ripples across the US retail sector, diminishing the highstreets in favour of ecommerce, and driving record-breaking revenues. The latest figures from the US Department of Commerce reveal that Q4 of 2020 closed with a 32.1% uplift in online spending than the same period in 2019. With the convenience factor becoming more important than ever to consumers in this period, online marketplaces have become an essential part of the shopping experience, providing consumers with a wide range of product offerings, from essentials to luxuries, all in one place.
As reported by DigitalCommerce360, the US is the native country behind 52 of the world’s top global marketplaces, platforms which collectively sold $773 billion in goods during 2020. In this article, we will dive deeper into the 5 leading marketplaces in the US, ranked by total gross merchandise value (GMV).
Since Amazon’s foundation in 1994 in Bellevue (Washington), Amazon has grown to become the go-to shopping destination for hundreds of millions of consumers. The third-party seller ecosystem is particularly important to Amazon, with sales from third-party sellers accounting for 62% of Amazon’s global GMV in 2020. While Amazon is a global marketplace, the US remains its most profitable territory, with 4000 items being sold every minute.
The platform is the 12th most visited website globally and the 4th in the US. With internet penetration on US citizens particularly high, it will come as no surprise that shoppers navigate the marketplace on varying devices. Research shows that 67% of American consumers use laptops/computers to buy on Amazon, 24% prefer mobile shopping, and a small percentage use Amazon Echo. Although the mobile shopping figure may feel small compared to browsing with laptops, Amazon is the #1 shopping app in the US, with over 150.6 million consumers using it actively over 2019.
eBay is the second-largest online marketplace in the US, driving $100 billion GMV over 2020. The fame of the auction platform has spread worldwide since its foundation. Today, eBay counts 190 markets with loyal consumers and 1,500 cities with Classified Listing.
19 million private international sellers trade on eBay, and the most significant proportion of them are vendors located in the US (31%), according to data from Oberlo. The marketplace records 1.01 billion average visits every month, and it ranks 13th in the most visited websites in the US.
Walmart Marketplace was founded a decade ago, which allowed third-party sellers to trade on Walmart.com, one of the US’s most trafficked sites. Compared to marketplaces giants like Amazon and eBay, Walmart is predominantly geared towards domestic American businesses. The marketplace is present in 27 countries and records over 378 million monthly visits.
The total value of goods sold on Walmart Marketplace by third-party sellers in the US amounted to $92 billion in 2020, and the ecommerce platform is continuously growing. With the offline-to-online shift fueling ecommerce, Walmart recorded an astonishing 79% ecommerce growth last year, according to their earnings report. This growth reflects both a boost in online sales boost, as well as an increase in the number of businesses selling on the marketplace. According to MarketplacePulse, ‘Walmart marketplace has surpassed 50,000 sellers in 2020, doubling in size from July 2019’. If you plan to expand into the US, Walmart should be on your list of marketplaces to consider trading.
OfferUp is a C2C mobile marketplace platform targeting private vendors, operating mainly in the US, who wish to sell new or second-hand products to their local community. OfferUp is one of the largest mobile marketplaces in the US and ranks in the top three shopping apps within the territory.
With more consumers considering the sustainable impact of their shopping habits, resale platforms are gaining popularity. According to OfferUp’s 2021 Recommerce Report, ‘nearly half (48%) of Americans purchased items from a resale marketplace last year and one in five adults used OfferUp in 2020’.
Ranking as of the most downloaded shopping apps on Google Play and App Store, Wish is one of the most popular mobile marketplaces worldwide. Wish’s app recorded 32.5 million downloads in the US alone, with approximately 108 million visitors a month.
In 2020, $13 million in goods were sold by third-party sellers on the Wish Marketplace within the US. The marketplace offers a wide variety of products at an affordable price and covers the 5th top marketplace in the US, and the 21st position in the top online marketplace worldwide, ranked by monthly visits. Although Wish has a prominent online presence in the US, accounting for 22% of its online visits per month, the marketplace operates globally and attracts consumers in Brazil, France, Germany and the UK.
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