B2C ecommerce in Latin America is still in its infancy, with sales reaching only $36.82 billion this year. However, online shopping is showing signs of accelerating growth. Regional retailers such as Americanas, Submarino and Shoptime have been aggressive in expanding their online presence to attract new online buyers.
More than half of Latin America’s ecommerce sales come from online buyers in Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy. Brazil has a large internet population and an increasingly accessible broadband infrastructure. The country has also seen an increase in mobile internet users in recent years, which has helped propel the uptick in the country’s ecommerce sales. Consumers in Brazil are experiencing an increase in disposable income, and show a higher incidence of credit card usage compared to other countries in Latin America. Purchase deliveries to lower- and middle-class consumers outside of Brazil’s major cities present a challenge, though solutions are slowly being put in place.
Despite Brazil’s dominance, Argentina and Mexico will be the driving forces behind Latin America’s ecommerce growth throughout the forecast period, though Brazil will continue to record double-digit increases through 2014.
Argentina has the lowest number of internet users in the region, and its ecommerce market is still in its early stages. Online retailers in the country face obstacles with delivery and payment options, though as more individuals in Argentina become internet users, the community of online buyers will grow in size.
Mexico’s internet population is more than double that of Argentina’s, but its online retail industry is immature. Slow technology adoption and challenges with delivery and online payment options have hindered the country’s development of a strong ecommerce market.
Regardless of the obstacles hindering faster consumer uptake of online commerce, Latin America’s largest and most established retailers are putting greater emphasis on internet sales.
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