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Homegrown Retail Sites Lead in Brazil

Mercadolivre.com.br is the No. 1 online retail site in terms of unique visitors

Retail is a leading online pursuit for web users in Brazil. According to eMarketer estimates, business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce sales in Brazil will reach $19.7 billion this year, accounting for nearly 43% of total ecommerce sales in Latin America.

A comScore Media Metrix study of activity among Brazil’s internet users found that, by a wide margin, retail was the leading site category in terms of unique visitors, with 44 million in December 2012. That was 1.5 million visitors ahead of directories and resources, the No. 2 category, and more than 18 million ahead of the next most popular category, education.

In terms of growth between December 2011 and December 2012, the second- and third-biggest bumps in unique visitors went to retail-related categories. The jewelry, luxury goods and accessories category saw the number of unique visitors increase by 69%, and the beauty, fashion and style category saw a 55% increase.

The study found that the leading online retailer in Brazil was Mercadolivre.com.br, eBay’s Latin America partner, with headquarters in Buenos Aires. The site had 14.3 million unique visitors in Brazil in December of last year. Brazil-based Americanas.com came in second, with 8.1 million visitors. Walmart.com.br was the only US-based retailer to make the list of top online retailers in Brazil. The vast majority were homegrown sites.

Price comparison sites were also extremely popular in Brazil, with the No. 1 site, Buscape Company, seeing a greater number of unique visitors than Mercadolivre.com.br. Again, price comparison sites were heavily weighted toward local outfits—the top three sites were all Brazil-based. Following behind Buscape was Shopping UOL, with 10.9 million visitors. From there, the drop-off in site visitors was significant. Zoom.com.br saw 3.5 million unique visitors in December 2012.

With online shopping well established in Brazil, it makes sense that Brazil and Latin America-based sites have dominated the online retail landscape and helped solidify the category’s dominance. For international online retailers trying to make inroads, they face a steep uphill battle for market share.


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