Does Your State Support eCommerce? Annual eCommerce Report. Top 10 States!

Does your state’s economic development support eCommerce? One essential, yet frequently unrecognized relationship for organizations and business visionaries is between a state and its advanced framework close to the business network. Where responsibility toward advanced enablement and financial improvement is unified, the connection between the public areas’ capacity to help develop their computerized foundation ought not to go unnoticed. While an advanced foundation is basic for computerized retail, the state’s groundbreaking and current economy likewise assumes an indispensable job in effective eCommerce deals. For retail marks selling on the web as well as any business which prevalently lives carefully ought to consider its state center around eCommerce and monetary turn of events. The two should be commonly strong capacities, as they are essential determinants of future business and online achievement.

Understanding a few fundamental and unique metrics can indicate if your state’s economic development plan supports eCommerce enablement. While thinking about which state is the best for your eCommerce business, it requires taking a gander at a wide range of information focuses. It may even require discussion with a lawyer who includes insight inside your state. The motivation behind this report is to help retail marks who sell or wish to sell through eCommerce comprehend whether their state or locale is set up for scale past only setting up your online stores.

In this report, you’ll learn about: 

      • Internet sales tax and its relationship to a state’s economy. 
      • Big data analytics driving eCommerce & which regions are talent hubs. 
      • General broadband access and why it’s vital for eCommerce customers. 
      • Why It’s essential to know your state’s eCommerce policy. 
      • How R&D Tax credits can help accelerate your eCommerce growth. 
      • How eCommerce and warehouse fulfillment drive economic development. 
      • How consumer habits are encouraging eCommerce adoption and how Walmart & Target could be significant players. 

Being this is centered around advanced retail and foundation, states with more noteworthy admittance to web choices, for example, broadband and fiber optic web are viewed as pioneers of the computerized blast. States that empower mechanical frameworks to help these capacities are better situated to catch the estimation of information advancement and eCommerce deals. We’ve positioned states who do gather deals charge higher contrasted with states who don’t. The procedure behind this identifies with a state’s capacity to produce pay and where a state should zero in its experience on future receivables. In states like North Dakota, their income isn’t coming from ordinary residents. It’s coming from oil organizations since charge income comes from supposed severance charges. It’s no big surprise North Dakota controllers would affirm extending the Dakota Access pipeline. In actuality, states like Virginia embraced the nexus standard and assessed that doing so would create up to an extra $150 million in yearly state income. It’s no big surprise they’ve positioned number one on our rundown, as they fueled through the advancement and without a doubt considered eCommerce to be an essential piece of their financial turn of events.

When forecasting the future of a productive eCommerce company, we reviewed the impact of big data and analytics. Given that these are currently scarce talents, innovation and corporate ecosystems are likely big recruiting hubs for small businesses. Moreover, states with thriving corporate ecosystems were ranked higher than states with little to none. When reviewing unique ideas that could accelerate a states’ eCommerce ecosystem, we looked at different tax benefits relating to eCommerce companies. We found that R&D tax credits could be a massive factor for long term success around eCommerce. R&D tax credits define cash boosts that an eCommerce company is entitled to, which can be used in some operations. States with good R&D tax credits were ranked higher than states with little to none. We also reviewed the economic impact eCommerce could have on a state economy.

Importantly, we discovered that eCommerce has led to increased volumes of investments in information technology, increasing production levels due to automation. The use of machines has led to efficiency compared to manual work. Increased productivity and efficiency is one of the main drivers for economic growth. It has led to the emergence of some crucial industries, such as logistics, which has increased the country’s employment rate. States with public and private sectors making significant investments within automation and eCommerce innovation were ranked higher than others. While reviewing the impact of jobs being lost and gained due to eCommerce, we examined the role logistics plays in eCommerce and the jobs it could provide for blue-collar workers. States with a higher number of Amazon and warehouse fulfillment centers indicated supporting attributes to eCommerce enablement and were ranked higher on our scale.

We have reviewed the cultural patterns of eCommerce purchases. We noticed that pick-up on the same day or delivery on the following day might take place, if not offered, it could hurt your customer purchase decisions. Because stores or warehouse sites would be key to fulfilling these customer habits, we checked Target and Walmart and their future eCommerce priorities. We noted that states with a more significant number of Target and Walmart locations are in prime positions to offer these consumer accommodations, so states with more Walmart & Target locations were ranked higher than others. 

We present to you ASDAL’s first annual report indicating the best states for eCommerce enablement to spur economic growth. We congratulate the state of Virginia for leading the country in eCommerce enablement.

Here are the Top Ten: 

      1. Virginia
      2. Maryland
      3. Minnesota
      4. California
      5. Delaware
      6. Arizona
      7. Illinois
      8. Michigan
      9. Massachusetts
      10. Utah

While Virginia ranks number one overall, the Midwest definitely has the best environment for eCommerce growth. Full of densely developed cities, start-ups and innovative communities, and sound corporate networks. However, beginning or helping your Midwest eCommerce business is not a bad idea. However, just because your state doesn’t rank in the top 10 and you have no desire to relocate to a midwestern state, but foresee the importance of eCommerce. We’ve further explained what we anticipate as essential components for eCommerce growth beyond just setting up your online distribution. 


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Big Data Analytics & eCommerce 

With the retail landscape changing faster than ever before, companies must identify creative pathways for growth. It is seamlessly essential in the online retail area but requires a deep understanding of data analytics. Big data analytics has created a wave in the business industry and is the key to eCommerce’s fantastic future. Big data analytics allows companies to predict the possibility of product sales, returns, buying habits, review management, social media retargeting, checkout cart incentives, consumer product suggestions, local trends linked to the customers, and more. These types of metrics allow retail brands to minimize overhead and maximize sales. It is vital that your team has someone dedicated to data analytics as a whole, and even better if every facet of your operations used some form of analytics. 

On a per state identifier, not only did Massachusetts rank number nine as a top state for eCommerce, but in a July 2017, report conducted via the center for data innovation by Daniel Castro, Josh New, and John Wu. Massachusetts was ranked number one for data innovation, indicating that the widespread adoption of data analytics and artificial intelligence was expected to contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. GDP. Massachusetts could be a considerable talent hub for data analytics. When the time calls for it, be sure to check out big data applicants from this state. 

Internet Access & Consumer Habits 

Some reports have suggested that a state with a greater focus on broadband access can increase economic growth, lower unemployment rates, and a healthy society. Some argue that broadband Internet should be considered a basic need for every individual, firm, and institution. While we make no statement regarding its fundamental role in society, research shows that enabling broadband technology usage does relate to increased online shopping habits. Although broadband is not directly tied to eCommerce, the patterns associated with internet usages are.

We looked at state programs of all forms and measured their policies against one another. States, including Minnesota and Colorado, have broadband offices established by statute or executive order.  In Minneapolis, Minnesota, and other surrendering cities, broadband access is free from the city government. Minnesota also has the highest percentage of individuals who use the Internet. However, Utah, Oregon, and Maryland are ranked the highest for broadband enablement. A study conducted by AIS Electronic Library discovered that the greater broadband access, the less a state would see in-store shopping, working in the office, and commuting in traffic. The only activity where time allocation had increased was ‘working at home.’ You shouldn’t be surprised to see Maryland, Virginia, and Utah all within the top 10 states for eCommerce, because all three have a sound corporate ecosystem. 

Nevertheless, those three foresaw broadband access as a vital role in their future success. When thinking about generating online sales among your local community, a simple analysis you can do is think about the various ways your district uses the Internet. Some positive examples include app-based parking meters, public transit app, city-wide Internet, etc. 

The Nexus Standard

Nexus rules have constrained how states reclaim sales tax, allowing firms to choose whether to develop taxability based on a decision that will establish a physical presence. According to a study conducted by Donald Bruce,William F. Fox, and Leann Luna, they confirmed that Nexus standards have no negative impact on sales tax receipt, total employment, and retail employment. Through the Nexus rules, the states are committed to bringing the eCommerce companies closer to the markets. Our analysis shows that 22 states are currently utilizing the Nexus Standard to collect state tax from online retailers.

The Nexus Standard implies that the determination of sales tax collected from online transactions is the retailer’s sole responsibility, which is to say that the collecting, recording, and submission of taxes to the state are to be the sole responsibility of the retailer. When a state utilizes the Nexus Standard in regards to collect sales tax from online retails. It could see a positive impact from eCommerce with tremendous economic growth. As states start to see the monetary value of eCommerce, more solutions are naturally generated.

According to the US Census Bureau (2020), total e-commerce retail sales have increased over the year. The retail sales accounted for about 4.5% of the total sales in 2011 and almost 15.5% in 2020. States who have elected the nexus standard undoubtedly foresee eCommerce’s value as part of their economic development plan. 

R&D Tax Credits

There are several ways a community can indicate its focus on accelerating eCommerce enablement beyond electing the nexus standard. One of which involves R&D tax credits, which can define cash boosts that an eCommerce company is entitled to, which can be used in some operations. Of course, the nature of these incentives varies from state-to-state. Many states use the federal R&D credit as their model. States that introduce R&D tax credits tend to be motivated by a desire to leverage their research activity to create new jobs. Any business that has eCommerce capability might be surprised to find out that some of their costs could meet the definition of R&D. An organization can claim the cash benefit and use it to improve its creativity and innovation. It also gives them cash in hand. The organization receives the amount without sacrificing its assets or equities; therefore, they can use the money they wish.

In an older report by Jennifer Weiner, who worked for the federal reserve of Boston, it was suggested that States who have elected the R&D tax credits seem to have positively impacted their economic development strategy. Most reports indicate that R&D incentives are most effective in states that already have a significant research activity level and a substantial high-tech business community; hence eCommerce enablement being an ideal candidate for such an incentive.

Typically, innovative technology such as your website, stock control, or any back-office integration qualifies for R&D tax credits. If you are a growing brand and eCommerce-enabled assets, go far beyond product related systems. Innovative technology such as customer recognition and personalization, virtual reality, cybersecurity, shopping cart system, and payment enhancements also qualifies.

The highest cost is usually the employment costs of people carrying out R&D, which goes beyond just the salaries of employed people. It could also cover their employer pension and National Insurance contributions too which can be included. A proportion of money spent on relevant contractor’s work is also eligible.

If your state offers R&D tax credits, be sure to reach out to our favorite R&D tax company, Strike, to find out how you can gain these benefits. 

eCommerce impacts a community’s economic development in various ways, and supporting a growing eCommerce trend is crucial on many counts. Not only do 51% of purchases originate online, but eCommerce has promoted international trade as it involves the cross-border sale of goods and services.  A study conducted by Ufuk Baytar, an eCommerce research professor, reported that from the 1.45 billion online shoppers worldwide, those who made cross-border purchases worldwide increased from 17% in 2016 to 23% in 2018. The report further indicated that eCommerce’s main challenge resides predominantly around logistics and eCommerce shipping facilities; if trade were to continue, both would need improvement.

The new generation of eCommerce facilities often requires new development because they must be higher, more automated with more shipping doors to facilitate shipping more and smaller orders in response to customer demand. As eCommerce grows, centers like these need to be located near populated cities, which creates a lot of complexity. Given this trend, eCommerce companies are increasingly focused on offsetting one-time and recurring project costs; this is often accomplished through the procurement of economic development incentives provided by state and local governments. Communities that decide to focus on attracting eCommerce companies generally have to develop incentive programs that will directly offset short and long-term development and operating expenses. Overall, this typically results in many new jobs and involves significant capital investment. 

In terms of eCommerce spurring economic development, any construction creates new tax revenue for the state and local communities by generating new sales tax, real and personal property, and inventory tax revenue. Because of the new positive fiscal impacts caused, economic development agencies may choose to be more business-friendly in providing incentives to mitigate the new tax liabilities of such eCommerce developments. 

Political officials from states like Kansas have created powerful bills to help accelerate innovation and help further eCommerce. Be sure to check with your state’s Procurement Office to find out any information on benefits they might be extending to eCommerce focused companies.

Total number of Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

The number of Amazon warehouses and other supporting fulfillment networks can also be a good indication that your community values the importance of eCommerce. Not only do these centers support growing consumer demand, but also a blue-collar workforce. Some cities have noticed tremendous job development by supporting these growing networks. Although often forgotten, these jobs are in high demand as picking, packing, and shipping customer orders transition from consumer to company. Warehouse associates are generally responsible for receiving, putting tags and labels on the merchandise, preparing orders for shipments, and entering data in the inventory and logistic software programs.

Typically, fulfillment networks are more likely to be located in highly populated areas to meet the demands of same-day pickup, next day delivery, or 2 – 4-day shipping. These centers play a vital role in businesses that might not have the time and capacity to store, pick, sort, pack, and ship their orders. If you are new to eCommerce or maybe existing, outsourcing your fulfillment could provide massive savings. Warehouse fulfillment centers take care of negotiating the shipment costs with shipment carriers like DHL and UPS.

When reviewing the future habits that eCommerce shoppers prefer, reducing delivery time is a never-ending demand. Same pickup and next day delivery are the most requested services in eCommerce. A report by Bee track concluded that millennial audiences require instant gratification. This urge forces them to pick the same day order option with 46% willing to pay higher for same-day delivery. According to BI intelligence research, one out of four online shoppers leave an online shopping cart if same-day delivery is not offered. Of course, not everyone is going to be able to shift towards this rapid demand. As we discussed earlier, the new generation of eCommerce facilities’ complexity often requires intensive capital support. We suggest that Walmart & Target warehouses will become massive pickup and outbound hubs. However, years behind Amazon, Target, and Walmart are on the cutting edge of eCommerce enablement. As online retail grows, Target and Walmart should continue to be significant players because customers are more comfortable spending their money on a company that has proven its reliability. Amazon also offers the ability for eCommerce brands to use their warehouses for fulfillment needs beyond Amazon customers.

A simple measurement for future eCommerce success is to review the number of Amazon, Walmart, and Target locations your state has. Furthermore, if you haven’t started selling on marketplaces like Amazon, Target, & Walmart, be sure to create a selling application today. 


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