Amazon most popular site among foreign shoppers

Online shopping
Shopping online U.S. stores growing in popularity among foreign consumers.

Amazon is at the top of the list for the most popular U.S. website with international shoppers this holiday season. According to international shipping company MyUS, which looked more than 200 countries and territories, apparel brands and fast-fashion make up 50% of the most popular websites. 

The second most popular e-commerce site this season is Ralph Lauren, up 14% from last year versus Amazon's 27% jump in popularity. And Carter's rounds out the top three, with visits up 61%.

The retailer that had the biggest increase in visitors to its site was Gap, up 133% from the holiday season in 2016 (No. 4 on the list). 

The other retailers in the top 10 include Disney Store, Walmart, Nordstrom, 6pm, Forever21 and Bath & Body Works. 

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Walmart made a big jump from the No. 20 spot on the list in 2016 to the No. 6 spot in 2017. On the flip side, Colourpop was No. 6 in 2016 and did not make the top 10 most visited sites this year. 

"There are a lot of factors at play, but we know over the last decade—and especially over the last few years—U.S.-based brands are turning their eyes to global markets as a way to expand profits," Meaghan Thomas, director of marketing, told FierceRetail. "Europe has always been a big target; however, as other economies grow in the MENA, LATAM and APAC regions, those consumers’ shopping habits and standards for quality products are increasing as well. As a result, U.S. stores are focusing more brand awareness campaigns in those regions than ever before to meet the increasing desire for the quality brands the U.S. is known so well for."

Overall, MyUS notes that shipments from the U.S. are way up, around 98% compared with last holiday shopping season. And the country contributing the most to U.S. international sales is Saudi Arabia.

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Other countries in the top 10 shopping for U.S. goods include Australia, Kuwait, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Angola, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa and the United Kingdom. 

"Thanks to growing economies around the world, consumer demand for U.S. products and brands is rapidly increasing," said Ramesh Bulusu, CEO of MyUS. "As a result, we've seen the biggest holiday season in our 20 years of existence."

For those retailers that did not make the top 20 for international sales, Thomas recommends that they avoid modifying U.S. marketing campaigns for international markets, but instead create a unique approach to achieve local success. This includes using local languages in ads on the website, speaking specifically to the shopping habits of the market, and engaging with local social influencers and businesses to give brands credibility. 

"Also, it seems obvious, but shipping logistics always have to be considered," Thomas said. "If you’re marketing to international audiences, you have to provide an easy way for them to get your products. Many U.S. retailers are not solving for this because that can include a lot of complexity and required resources. That’s why third-party cross-border services, like MyUS who can easily solve these problems for both the retailer and the consumer, are becoming increasingly popular."