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As Brazil gears up to host the World Cup and the Olympics, travel should see the biggest boost in business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce sales in the country. But retail ecommerce is also showing strong growth prospects. Brazil closed 2012 with $11.54 billion in retail ecommerce sales, according to eMarketer, and is expected to register another $13.25 billion in sales this year, for a 14.8% growth rate.
In its midyear roundup of Brazil's retail ecommerce segment, e-bit, a leading ecommerce data provider in Brazil, recorded BRL12.74 billion ($6.53 billion) in retail ecommerce sales for the first half of 2013. This represents a 24% expansion over the same period last year, and accounts for 49.2% of what eMarketer has forecast for the year.
Fashion and accessories led in number of orders, displacing home appliances, which had topped the list in 2012. This was a culmination of the category's growing popularity among digital buyers in Brazil over the past year, motivated by the low-ticket and easy-to-ship nature of these items. As in the previous year, beauty and health products came in third, also indicating the sector's strength within Brazil's retail ecommerce market.
Despite the continued drop in PC sales in Brazil, as reported by the International Data Corporation (IDC) in September, computers and associated electronics remained the fourth most purchased category online. On the one hand, unfavorable exchange rates have made imports more expensive, contracting sales of more expensive computers. On the other hand, consumers looking for more affordable computing soluting have been turning to tablets in large numbers, helping keep the category in the top five.
Rounding off the list of top ecommerce product categories were books and magazines, sold in both print and electronic forms. Aside from a strong market of local digital book retailers, in 2012 Brazil saw the localization of major virtual bookstores—Apple's iBookstore, Google's Play store and Amazon.com's Kindle Store—offering content in Portuguese and prices in local currency.
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