Recently the Brazilian research firm Cetelem BGN released its annual Observador report, based on interviews with consumers in 70 cities throughout the country. We went through the 100-page report to give advertisers, marketers and media professionals a breakdown of the key findings.
Classe C Still Surging
Brazil’s economic transformation in recent years has been dramatic. In 2005, 51% of the population was made up of people from classes D and E, while 34% were from the classe C middle class and 15% were from the upper AB classes. Yet in 2011, the middle class became the majority in Brazil, 54% of the population. These days, 103 million middle class or classe C Brazilians are now the dominant consumer segment.
When asked what they definitely intend to buy in the coming months, the top categories among Brazilians were furniture (31%), appliances (30%), travel (25%), TV/video products (19%), cell phones (17%) and computers (16%). Classes AB—42 million people—showed the strongest intent to spend money on travel, furniture and appliances.
Cetelem BGN’s results show that Internet penetration in Brazil is 44%, a figure in line with that of comScore, which estimates that 85 million Brazilians out of a total population of around 193 million have Internet access. At 43%, classe C’s Internet penetration rate is almost the same at the rate for the entire country.
More and more Brazilians are using the Internet to research products before buying and they do this most often when buying electronics, travel products and cultural products. Overall, 23% of Brazilians report that they buy products online, which means that 44 million people in Brazil engage in e-commerce. The two main promotional features that Brazil’s online shoppers value the most are promotional discount periods (66%) and free shipping (48%).
Most Brazilian Internet shoppers (81%) use credit cards while 46% use boletos bancários (online payment voucher) and 11% use crediário, a type of credit system based on installment payments.
According to O Observador 2012, 33% of Brazilians own a credit card and 35% have debit cards, while 18% have store credit cards. Even among the AB classes of Brazil, the Observador survey shows credit card penetration to be 57%. Among Brazilian credit card owners nearly half (47%) own one and 31% own two, with only 3% owning 5 or more. For most items in Brazil, such as food, clothes, household bills, cell phones, gas, medicines and entertainment, cash is by far the preferred payment method.