U.S. brands see growth in surprising new markets during COVID

by | Jun 2, 2020 | Covid-19, Marketing, Public Relations

While U.S.-based retail sales recoil amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, new data revealed by cross-border commerce firm eShopWorld found that U.S. brands are seeing significant global e-commerce growth when quickly tapping new markets outside the U.S. Driven by apparel, footwear and sporting equipment, U.S. brands saw the highest volume growth in April in Israel (up 178 percent), Ireland (up 173 percent) and New Zealand (up 168 percent) when compared to the same period last year.

The data also shed light on the swiftness with which the pandemic can impact demand across global markets

Early May sales reflect significant spikes in order volume in Mexico (up 258 percent), Chile (up 242 percent) and Singapore (up 214 percent) when compared to May 2019. At the same time, consistency was evident across categories, with apparel, footwear and sporting equipment the top three drivers of international e-commerce growth year-over-year in both April as well as early May. Demand for apparel, in particular, rose with a 98.4 percent increase in orders in April compared to last year, and a 118.5 percent increase in early May compared to the same period last year.

“In a pandemic world, U.S. retail brands need to be agile and able to move quickly to find and meet demand, and right now there is incredible opportunity beyond domestic channels, particularly for apparel,” said Tommy Kelly, CEO of eShopWorld, in a news release. “As consumers around the globe turn to e-commerce in lieu of being able to go in-store, our data show that U.S. brands that are able to move quickly to deliver a localized e-commerce experience are seeing 300–400 percent growth in sales.

“The data also show that a market that was hot one month may be outshone the following month, as the regional effects of the pandemic influence consumer behaviors. Now more than ever, U.S. retail brands must shift on a dime, be ready to enter new markets where demand is bubbling up and quickly establish relationships with new customers in each market to create long term advantage,” Kelly added.

Other key findings:

All eShopWorld metrics refer to order volume growth year-over-year for the period referenced.

Top 10 countries where U.S. brands found growth in April

  • Israel: up 178 percent
  • Ireland: up 173 percent
  • New Zealand: up 168 percent
  • Canada: up 152 percent
  • United Arab Emirates: up 133 percent
  • Chile: up 126 percent
  • Australia: up 116 percent
  • Belgium: up 110 percent
  • Switzerland: up 97 percent
  • France: up 92 percent

Top 10 countries where U.S. brands found growth from May 1-14

  • Mexico: up 258 percent
  • Chile: up 242 percent
  • Singapore: up 214 percent
  • New Zealand: up 207 percent
  • Israel: up 206 percent
  • Ireland: up 199 percent
  • Russia: up 194 percent
  • Spain: up 165 percent
  • Canada: up 157 percent
  • United Kingdom: up 146 percent

Key categories for growth in April

  • Apparel: up 98.4 percent
  • Sporting equipment: up 96.2 percent
  • Footwear: up 60.2 percent

Key categories for growth from May 1-14

  • Apparel: up 118.5 percent
  • Footwear: up 106.6 percent
  • Sporting equipment: up 58.5 percent

Brands partnering with eShopWorld to enter new international markets can be up and running in as few as 12 weeks, up to six times faster than if they attempted to do so on their own, according to the company—all while engaging directly with customers and retaining ownership of all the data collected during the shopping process.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter