e commerce shot

Following the Money with Latam’s E-Commerce

This post is also available in: Spanish

We know that e-commerce is growing nicely in Latin America, up 24% between 2009 and 2010 to hit $12 billion and that it may go up by 58% in 2011.

We also know that Brazil is home to the biggest online buyers, followed by Mexico and Argentina, and that Colombia and Chile are up-and-coming e-commerce markets.

But what Latin Americans are actually buying online is what shows the true impact of e-commerce in the region.

A November 2010 comScore study showed that the retail categories with the biggest reach are consumer electronics, computer hardware and software.

A study released in June 2011 by Google and D’Alessio IROL of Latin American online shoppers showed 5 top categories:

  • Cell phones
  • Clothes (including shoes and accessories)
  • CDs/DVDs
  • Internet connection services
  • Computers

Researching Online, Buying Offline
While both survey results offer good news for advertisers in those categories, they’re not the only ones who can benefit from Latin America’s e-commerce boom. In the comScore study, the most popular retail category for Latin American online shoppers—ahead of the ones already mentioned—is comparison shopping.

The Google study showed similar results: 52% Latin American online shoppers report that after researching a product online, they buy it offline.

Other surveys suggest why this happens: many Latin Americans are still cautious about shopping online. They’re worried about consumer data safety, scams and in certain countries the import tariffs also seem to be a factor. Delivery is another concern.

However, these circumstances potentially offer the best of both worlds for advertisers. Reaching customers with a message online can either lead to an online purchase or drive traffic to stores if they’re just researching before buying. In fact, this could explain why online ad spend has gone up so much around Latin America, spiking upward by as much as 56%.

To learn more about how we can help you reach Latin American shoppers all over the region or in specific countries, contact us at info@usmediaconsulting.com.

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