In Latin America, B2B ecommerce sales reached $48.14 billion in 2013 and are expected to increase by 19.8% to total $57.69 billion this year. Latin America is a recent addition to the major contenders for global online dominance, but had the fastest-growing online population globally during the last year, driving a significant increase in ecommerce and digital advertising throughout the region. Digital buyers in Latin America will be only 90.3 million in 2014, whereas they are 529.6 million in Asia Pacific and 178 million in North America. Although, the number of digital buyers is increasing with the increase of internet penetration. The amount of Latin American internet users conducting online shopping grew even faster than the amount of people getting online.
BRAZIL: THE LARGEST ECOMMERCE MARKET
In terms of individual countries, Brazil is leading the ecommerce in the region, with 30.9 million online shoppers in 2013. Mexico ranks second with 8.4 million online shoppers, followed by Argentina with 7.5 million. By 2018, online shoppers in Latin America are expecting to be 118.7 million. Among them, one-third will be Brazilian (55.4 million), 18 million Mexican and 12 million Argentinian. Clearly, the online world is expanding in Latin America at a rapid rate and ecommerce is following suit.
ONLINE SHOPPERS IN LATIN AMERICA
In Latin America, 76.5% of the population declared having made a purchase online in 2013. Firstly, it is important to note that online shoppers in Latin America tend to spend a lot of money on their internet purchases. Among online shoppers, 66% made a purchase via a desktop, 32% via a smartphone and 24% via a tablet. The majority (76%) shops from home and 12% from a workplace.
The top products purchased vary geographically. In Brazil, clothes and accessories are the most purchased online, followed by cosmetics and perfumes. In Mexico, online buyers prefer spending money on music and movies, followed by computers and clothes and accessories. In Argentina, the travel category leads the online sales, followed by electronics and food, dink and cleaning products.
Most Latin American consumers prefer to do their research online before investing in products and services. 8 of 10 Latin American consumers search for products online before buying. In Brazil, price comparison websites are even more popular than retail websites.
In contrast to other areas of the world where ecommerce is still developing, it seems Latin Americans prefer to carry out more of their online shopping using international rather than local websites. Although, 55% of Latin Americans buy on market place Mercado Libre (eBay’s Latin American partner site). In Brazil, online market places MercadoLibre and B2W Digital and the price comparison website Buscape have strong positions within the ecommerce landscape. Nevertheless, the entry of international companies, such as Wal-Mart and EBay, attracted by the market potential and the opportunities offer by the World Cup 2014 and the Olympics 2016, makes the Brazilian market competition more intense. In Argentina, top local ecommerce site is Garbarino, with 23% of online buyers spending money on this website. In Chile, the local ecommerce site Falabella has the highest purchase rate (41%). Falabella is also the local site of choice for 41% of Peruvians. In Colombia, the site with the highest reported purchase rate is Éxito (31%).
There are four major factors that influence the online purchase process for Latin American consumers and make them more likely to make a purchase. The first is going directly to an ecommerce site, then followed by entering a keyword into a search engine. After this, comes the influence of online advertising, followed by the influence of recommendations from family and friends.
As far as online buying methods go, Latin American shoppers tend to use credit cards despite the relatively low credit card penetration in the region overall. In fact, 74% of the Latin American internet users use credit cards to buy online. Other payment methods used are electronic funds transfer (41%), debit card (41%) and cash on delivery (26%).
comScore 2013: Latin America digital future in focus
ystats 2013: Latin America B2C ecommerce report
LatinPost 2014: Latin Americans shopping online hits new heights in 2013
eMarketer 2014: Latin American ecommerce remains small with few digital buyers
LatinLink 2014: The strongest ecommerce markets in Latin America