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Digital Buying Is on the Rise in Mexico

B2C ecommerce sales in Mexico will reach $11.43 billion this year

Business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce sales in Mexico will rise 20.0% to reach $11.43 billion in 2014, eMarketer estimates. Moreover, the country will be the fastest-growing market through 2017 out of the Latin American countries for which we produce individual forecasts. Digital sales in Mexico will expand at a 17.6% compound annual growth rate between 2012 and 2017, bringing the category total up to $15.11 billion by the end of the forecast period.

Ecommerce growth in Mexico in 2014 will come on the shoulders of the 10.4 million people—21.3% of the internet user base—who eMarketer expects to make a digital purchase this year, a 16.5% year-over-year improvement.

While there is plenty of room for growth in the country as a whole, digital purchasing is restricted by internet adoption more than anything else. So it comes as no surprise that growth in the number of digital buyers moves hand in hand with internet uptake. eMarketer expects annual internet user gains to drop to 6.3% by 2017, when there will be 78.2 million web users. Meanwhile, digital buyer growth rates will reach 10.0% that year.

Broader digital buyer definitions also point at a wide area of opportunity. According to data released in March 2014 by The Competitive Intelligence Unit (CIU), 71% of internet users have made at least one digital purchase already. While the CIU estimate is an outlier, it is important to note that the projection includes almost any kind of monetary digital transaction—including ringtones and other micropurchases—and is not constricted to a specific timeframe.

As is usually the case in markets at early stages of ecommerce adoption, computers were the most likely vehicle for web purchases, cited by 84% of digital buyers. Mobile phones were the second most popular device for digital purchases.

Distrust and lack of experience are likely why mobile users in Mexico are not yet buying primarily via handheld devices. But there are encouraging signs that they may shift to mobile purchasing once they get better acquainted with the medium. According to a March 2014 CIU newsletter, “It is common that consumers who start the path to purchase on a smartphone or tablet finish their transaction on their computer.”

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