The State of E-Commerce in Latin America in 2013

The State of E-Commerce in Latin America in 2013

This post is also available in: Spanish

We’ve written quite a bit about e-commerce in Latin America but a lot of our earlier posts were focused on buying patterns or offered projections. But now that we’re in 2013, it’s important to review what happened in 2012. To that end, we have created some data portraits to help professionals in marketing, media and advertising get a quick but essential sense of what happened in e-commerce in Latin America in 2012 and what’s ahead in 2013.

ARGENTINA

  • 2012 e-commerce total sales: 16.7 billion pesos (US$3.3 billion at current exchange rates)*
  • 2011 e-commerce total sales: 11.5 billion pesos (US$2.3 billion, so overall e-commerce increased by nearly 32% in Argentina in 2012*
  • In a survey of 540 online shoppers in Argentina, 57% indicated that they buy products online using credit cards*
  • Argentina has the highest digital buyer penetration rate in Latin America—43.9% of Argentina’s Internet users made purchases online in 2012, compared to 34% in Brazil, 19.6% in Mexico and 31.7% in Latin America in general**

Sources: *Cámara Argentina de Comercio Electrónico, **eMarketer

BRAZIL

  • 2012 e-commerce total sales: R$ 22.5 billion (US$11 billion at current exchange rates)*
  • 2011 e-commerce sales: R$ 18.7 billion (US$9.2 billion), so overall e-commerce increased by 20% in Brazil in 2012*
  • Black Friday has definitely arrived in Brazil: on November 23rd, 2012, Brazilians spent more than R$ 217 million (US$110 million) in online purchases*
  • E-commerce increased by 18% during Christmas 2012 in Brazil and overall Brazilians spent more than R$ 3 billion (US$1.5 billion) in online purchases during the holidays*
  • The most popular products purchased on MercadoLivre, one of Brazil’s top e-commerce sites, include cell phones (#1), car accessories (#2), computer products (#3), electronics (#4) and clothes/shoes (#5)**
  • Online sales through tablets and smartphones in Brazil went up significantly in 2012, from 5% to 10%—the most popular mobile device for online shopping among Brazilians was the iPad, which accounted for 51% of these mobile purchases***
  • Mobile commerce in Brazil should increase by 657% in Brazil in 2013 to teach R$ 2 billion (US$1 billion)***
  • For 2013, e-commerce sales in Brazil should grow by 28% to reach R$ 28 billion (US$14 billion)*

Sources: *e-bit, **MercadoLivre, ***Câmara Brasileira de Comércio Eletrônico

MEXICO

  • 2012 e-commerce total sales: 79.6 billion pesos (US$6.2 billion)*
  • 2011 e-commerce sales: 54.5 billion pesos (US$4.2 billion), so in 2012 e-commerce in Mexico grew by 46%*
  • The most popular products for Mexican online shoppers include, in descending order, plane/bus tickets (64%), hotel reservations (37%), music & movies (37%), tickets to shows (34%), books & magazines (27%), computers (26%), electronics (23%), clothes (23%), software (23%) and mobile phones (18%)*
  • In 2012 nearly half of Mexican online buyers (47%) made e-commerce purchases with a mobile device*
  • Each Mexican online shopper spent an average of US$854 in 2012 and this will increase to more than US$1,000 by 2016**
  • Starting in 2013, Mexico’s online shoppers will lead Latin America in amount spent per shopper—more than 20% higher than Brazil’s average by 2016**
  • B2C commerce in Mexico looks to grow significantly in coming years—projected sales in 2013 will be nearly US$8 billion and will reach US$12.9 billion by 2016**
  • By 2016, Mexico will have 12.1% of the online shoppers in Latin America—more than any country except for Brazil, which will have 34.7%**

Sources: *Asociación Mexicana de Internet (AMIPCI), **eMarketer

OTHER MARKETS
It’s challenging to find the same level of detail for other e-commerce markets in Latin America besides the big three that we just highlighted. That’s because e-commerce, while growing, has still not taken off at the same level in other countries in the region. However, marketers, advertisers and media professionals should still take into account the emerging e-commerce markets in Latin America. Here’s a quick review of some numbers for these markets:

  • In Chile, e-commerce sales in 2012 are projected to reach US$1.7 billion, a 14% increase from the 2011 total of US$1.489 billion*
  • A significant portion of Chile’s e-commerce transactions (38%) involve paying taxes, though 29% are travel-related and 17% are for retail products*
  • 65% of Chile’s Internet users engage in e-commerce, significantly higher than in other Latin American markets**
  • In 2012, e-commerce sales in Colombia reached nearly US$2 billion—nearly triple the amount registered in 2010, which was US$600 million***
  • According to the general director of Linio, an e-commerce portal, e-commerce in Peru will go up by 50-60% in 2013
  • E-commerce was projected to reach US$502 million in Costa Rica in 2012, a 29% increase compared to 2011*

Sources: *Visa, **Cámara de Comercio de Santiago, Cámara de Comercio Electrónico de Colombia

To find out how we can help you reach Latin American consumers via an online campaign or any other type of media, please contact us.

About Bruno Almeida@US Media Consulting

A native of Brazil, Bruno is the Chief Commercial Officer for US Media Consulting.

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