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Fashion Becomes Gateway Product, Bringing in New Digital Buyers in Brazil

With improved ecommerce infrastructure, cheap fashion helps Brazil grow its digital buyer base

eMarketer estimates retail ecommerce sales in Brazil will grow 14.8% in 2013, to reach $13.26 billion. The number of consumers buying online is also on the rise, with 36% of Brazil’s internet users expected to make web purchases this year. In this growing market, fashion and accessories are taking an increasing share of sales.

A report on Brazil’s 2012 ecommerce market by e-bit, a leading ecommerce data provider in Brazil, listed fashion and accessories as the second-biggest online product category in terms of total number of orders. With 12.2% of total purchases, fashion ranked ahead of health and beauty, and trailed household appliances by only a slim margin.

The segment’s significant market share seems linked to a growing base of new digital buyers. According to Bruno Maletta, partner and head of research at M.Sense, a research company within the e.Bricks Digital group, 39% of consumers who reported having bought fashion and accessories online had done it for the first time in the six months prior to being surveyed in February.

For these shoppers, the segment’s greater online inventory and lower prices make it a perfect gateway to internet buying. e-bit’s “Webshoppers 27th Edition” report found that fashion and accessories was the product category with the second-biggest drop in prices in February 2013, compared with the same period a year earlier, declining by 12.8%.

M.Sense February survey data confirmed the leading role of price in online purchasing among new fashion buyers, with 42% of new online women buyers highlighting it as the main reason for purchasing fashion online for the first time. Data also showed that an improved ecommerce infrastructure further encouraged consumers to take their purchases online. Following price, perceived improvements in payment security, delivery and ability to return were among the top motivators for first-time online buyers.

Maletta also offered a more behavioral take on fashion’s growing popularity, saying that “[…] in fashion, differently from appliances and electronics, it’s the greater variety that attracts customers online ... The fact that consumers are navingating these options more comfortably and completing more purchases is a sign of a young but maturing online fashion market, with great growth potential.”


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