Stefaniy Martynenko

What can be sold in the US?

So, you’ve decided to set up an online business and have chosen a niche such as selling goods to America. Let’s not talk about the many prospects the international market offers you and how attractive the potential earnings are (you probably already know this).

This article is intended to help you, as a start-up entrepreneur, choose a relevant, popular and profitable product based on trends and needs analysis. We hope to give you some good ideas and prevent you from making mistakes.

The most popular products in America

If you don’t take into account trends and peak seasonal demand, various gadgets can easily take the “palm”. Thus, last year, Americans bought the most:

1. Smartphones (including iPhone and Samsung Galaxy).

2. Accessories for sports, travel and outdoor activities (from GoPro action cameras to activity trackers and portable flashlights).

3. Electrical appliances for the home (from Philips Sonicare toothbrushes to Xiaomi robot vacuum cleaners).

Of course, it will be extremely difficult to break into such niches, as you will not be able to compete with manufacturers and numerous resellers. However, this leads to the conclusion that US buyers are extremely willing to spend money on electronics and are easily influenced by trends in this area. So, you can offer them:

  • analogues of well-known brands, but several times cheaper (in China, it is easy to find, for example, high-quality electric toothbrushes for $5-7 and sell them with a mark-up of x3);
  • small electronics, the brand of which is not important when buying: batteries, charging cords, flash drives, hubs, lamps, radios, navigators, etc.
  • new products that have not yet reached the Western market (if you are lucky enough to find them).

In general, the electronics niche is very attractive if we look at the demand for goods in the US alone. From a risk perspective, we would not advise entering it without a clear positioning/defence against competitors or confidence in the exclusivity of the selected positions.

What is ALWAYS in demand

There are 3 categories that people around the world will spend money on, regardless of their life and financial circumstances:

  1. Consumer goods (including clothing/footwear and household chemicals).
  2. Toys and educational products for children.
  3. Products for animals.

These niches are practically not subject to seasonality, so you don’t have to worry about sharp fluctuations in demand. They cannot be called oversaturated (although they are highly competitive).

According to BigCommerce, couples with children spend an average of 7 hours a week online shopping and 61% more than shoppers without children.

However, in order for the resale of goods in the United States to really bring you income, and not disappointment, it is important to take the right approach not only to the selection of items, but also to the organisation of marketing processes.

Thus, 42% of consumers admit that they will buy anything if it is recommended by friends or relatives. And 23% of respondents agree to make a purchase based on recommendations from social media*.

These figures tell us that when you start a business in the “always in demand” segment, you should place maximum emphasis on customer relations, brand building and reputation.

Niche of handmade, exclusive, individual and expensive goods

Unlike buyers from Eastern Europe, US residents are willing to pay “round sums” for collectibles and art, and they also value handmade goods.

Here you will find a very grateful and solvent audience.

In this area, we can only advise on the choice of a platform: such products are better suited to specialised resources such as Etsy or craft stores that can be created on Shopify.

The 3 most important factors for an American buyer

What will the average American pay attention to first? Is it quality? Product photos, ratings and reviews? Of course. However, these will not be the decisive factors for placing an order.

87% will go where it is cheaper (as they consider the price to be the main factor in making a decision). Another 80% of respondents will definitely pay attention to the speed of delivery and refuse to buy if the delivery is paid or very expensive. Finally, 71% of US residents will buy where there are discounts.

Big players like Amazon have spoilt customers with the speed and cost of delivery. Therefore, it is important to take this into account when selling ANY products.

How to find products that are gaining popularity in the US

And now for the search for trends. Our opinion is that you need to be very careful with them. On the one hand, this model does allow you to make super profits in a short period of time.

On the other hand, it is not a basis for a long-term, stable business.

A toy that everyone had just 2 weeks ago will have zero demand today. Remember how it was with spinners (hand spinners with bearings in the centre) or pop-its (spatulas).

Traditionally, we use Google Trends to help us find trends by analysing search queries:

  1. Click the Analyse tab.
  2. Select the country of interest.
  3. Define a niche.
  4. Set up a product search.

If you are interested in tracking the demand in America at a particular moment in time, you can go straight to the Bestsellers section on Amazon (it is updated every hour and gives results for different categories presented on the site).

What shouldn’t be sold?

It is logical that you will not be able to sell goods in the United States that are not in demand or are outside the law.

Over the years of practice, we have not found any other limitations for ourselves. Something will be profitable due to fast turnover rather than high margins. Something will require larger advertising budgets. Somewhere we will have to enter into a serious battle with competitors.

Rather, it is more important how detailed and correct the business plan is, and how deep the market analysis is. We always advise you to rely on your internal preferences, look for a niche in which YOU would be interested, and only then check it with numbers.

Frankly speaking, you can sell ANYTHING in advance, provided that all risks are taken into account and you are ready to accept them. Contact our team – we will help you analyse your business/niche/idea and create a detailed step-by-step plan for entering the American markets.

*All analytical data used in this article is taken from BigCommerce and Square reports

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