United States flag United States: Buying and Selling

Advertising and marketing in the United States

Marketing opportunities

Consumer Profile
The average age having been more or less constant since 2010 despite a slight upward trend. It reached 38.3 years in 2020. More than 18.5% of the population is under 14 years old, 65.2% ages between 15 to 64 years old and 16.2% is over 65 years old. The population growth rate is 0.5%. The average size of a household is 2.6 people, with 28% of households living alone, 34.5% of people living in two and 15.1% of households of 3 people. The percentage of women out of the total population in the US is 50.5%. About 82.8% of the population lives in urban areas. The most populated areas are in the eastern half of the United States (Great Lakes, Northeast, East and Southeast) and in the western states. The least populated populations are mountain areas, deserts and boreal forests in the extreme north. In 2019, the main cities by population are New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia and San Antonio. The level of education is high with 91% of adults aged 25 to 64 having completed secondary education, 47% of the population 25 to 64 years old who had attained any postsecondary degree. The main occupations are administrative and trade jobs, followed by health, management, business, finance, transportation and construction.
Purchasing Power
The GDP per capita PPP in the United States is 65,118.358 USD in 2019. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median wage for workers in the United States in the first quarter of 2020 was $957 per week or $49,764 per year. Purchasing power has increased recently, thanks to the increase in promotions and the use of credit. In the United States, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 45 284 a year, much higher than the OECD average of USD 33 604 a year, and the highest figure in the OECD. The personal consumption expenditure grew by 1.4% in September 2020, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Gini index on income inequality has stabilized at 0.41 since 2016. Overall, women earn just 81.4% the amount their male counterparts make, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the second quarter of 2019. Wages in the east of the country are higher, while the south has the lowest wages. Asian-born households have the highest median wage, ahead of the non-Hispanic white population, the Hispanic population and the Afro-American population.
Consumer Behaviour
The United States is a very developed consumer society. While the population had a fairly high level of confidence in the past, the financial crisis first and the Coronavirus crisis later has pushed consumers to move towards lower-priced products. US consumers are more likely to pay attention to promotions and compare prices. The most popular supermarkets are Walmart and Sam's Club (more than a fifth of market share), followed by Kroger, Albertsons, Costco etc. Americans are generally willing to travel to major shopping centres. Most US consumers shop and buy on various channels, making the whole buying process long and complicated. For retailers, omni-channel selling - both online and offline - is key to success. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the second quarter of 2020, consumers spent $200.72 billion online with US retailers, up 44.4% from $138.96 billion in the same quarter of the previous year, according to the Department of Commerce.
The Conference Board’s index - index of consumer confidence - increased 15.5 points to 101.8 in September 2020 from August’s 86.3, according to Bloomberg. Generally, consumers are open to international companies and brands. According to McKinsey's latest report dated August 2020, the COVID-19 crisis has caused a surge in new activity, with an astonishing 75% of US consumers experiencing new purchasing behaviour in response to economic pressures, shop closures and changing priorities. Overall, 36 per cent of consumers have tried a new product brand and 25 per cent have incorporating a new private-label brand. Among consumers who have tried different brands, 73% intend to continue to incorporate the new brands into their routines. Gen Z and high income consumers are more inclined to change brands. Social networks have a large impact on consumers, 34% of Generation Z make purchases through social media every single day. Moreover, social media creates opportunities for virtually every type of brand to engage with their customers: food and foodservice brands have the highest overall social media following, with clothing and footwear companies in second place. When buying online, almost 80% of US consumers indicated that they preferred using a debit or credit card. Some 71% of consumers are worried about big data and 34% do not trust tech companies with regard to personal data.

Among consumer trends in the United States 'Made in America' is an important issue. Some 70% of Americans consider it significant to buy American products. Also, responsible consumption is increasingly attracting consumers who want sustainable, transparent, clean products.  Some 48% of consumers say they want to change their habits to reduce their impact on the environment. Young people are even more concerned about the subject and are willing to pay more to reduce their footprint. The second-hand market is constantly growing and buying and selling websites are multiplying. The $29 billion secondhand apparel market will nearly double to $51 billion by 2023 according to the ThredUp report. The collaborative economy is highly developed in the United States, especially in large cities.
Consumers Associations
US Government , Lodge a Consumer Complaint
CR , Consumer Association
CFA , Federation of American Consumers
Main Advertising Agencies
Amobee
IPG - Interpublic Group
Omnicom Group
Cramer-Krasselt
Team One

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Latest Update: May 2022

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