The North American online retail market only consists of a few countries, but they make up more than a third of the world’s retail e-commerce sales.
Most people already recognize the United States of America, or USA, as being the world leader in online retail sales, although they may not hold that position forever as countries like China continue to have substantial annual growth.
Markets like the USA are highly developed and sophisticated, which even includes the consumers. Online consumers in the USA have typically been shopping online for years and often do so on a regular basis for everyday goods to big ticket items.
There is a lot of money to be made for internet marketers targeting the English language and the USA, but they often do not realize how much competition there really is in this market until it is too late. For newcomers, it can certainly be difficult to get any kind of foothold in this marketplace these days without a strong advertising budget and/or marketing strategy.
One of the real keys here is to target very small niches that do not have a lot of competition instead of trying to be a general product retailer or promoter. This allows you to remain focused on a small subject matter and selection of products, but it also allows you to be viewed as an authority in the niche as long as you have carefully selected one that does not have a major competitor with that same focus.
Other countries in the North American market include Canada, Mexico and Greenland, although Greenland is technically not an independent country. Canadian buying habits are very similar to those in the USA with minor differences in product preferences. However, many people assume that Mexico would not really fit into this regional grouping of countries because of their language and culture.
Even though Mexico is a mostly Spanish speaking country, a lot of their consumers with disposable income, computers, and internet access will actually order popular goods from the USA, often directly from websites based in the States. For this reason, most websites that target one country in this region can target all of them including Mexico.
Currently, Mexico and the United States of America have reports and statistics available. The USA report is especially in-depth, the first of many reports like this that will be done for individual countries on this site. Although they have not been featured here in this guide yet, Canada is also an important player in this region.