e-commerce2

Nearly 80 Percent of Latin Americans Shop Online

This post is also available in: Spanish

According to a new study done by ESET Latin America, 76.5% of Latin Americans say they have made an online purchase in 2013. The most popular device for buying online in Latam is the PC, with 66% saying they use it. Nearly half (47%) used a notebook, around 32% used a smartphone and 24% used a tablet. The large majority (76%) of Latin Americans did their online shopping from their homes, while nearly 12% shopped online from their workplaces. Other places where Latin Americans shopped include the homes of family and friends (7.5%) and cybercafés (4.3%).

Continual Growth
Of course, this is just one study, so naturally you have to consider whether it’s just an isolated result. However, the strong growth of e-commerce in Latin America during 2013 suggests that this survey reflects the reality in the region. Here’s why:

  • According to the Instituto Latinoamericano de Comercio Electrónico (Latin American Institute of E-Commerce or ILCE), 2013 e-commerce sales in Latin America will total nearly US$70 billion, a 28% increase compared to 2012
  • According to Google Hispanoamérica, e-commerce in Argentina will grow by 44% in 2013
  • According to la Asociación Mexicana de Internet (The Mexican Internet Association or AMIPCI), e-commerce in Mexico will grow by 42% in 2013
  • According to the Colombian Chamber of E-Commerce, e-commerce in Colombia will grow by 25% in 2013
  • According to e-commerce research firm e-bit, e-commerce in Brazil will grow by 24% in 2013
  • According to the Peruvian Chamber of E-Commerce, e-commerce in Peru will grow by 20% in 2013
  • Según la Cámara de Comercio de Chile, e-commerce in Chile will grow by 30% in 2013
  • According to ILCE, e-commerce in Ecuador has grown by 50% since 2010
  • According to la Confederación Latinoamericana de Empresas Courier (Latin American Confederation of Courier Firms), e-commerce in Guatemala will grow by 23% in 2013

Factors Behind the Growth
The explosion in Internet-connected mobile devices in Latin America is helping to pump up the number of users in the region and in fact, e-Marketer projects there will be around 300 million Internet users in Latam this year. Beyond online connections is another practical factor: ease of purchase. In more mature e-commerce markets, it’s common for shoppers to use credit cards to buy online. And in several markets in Latin America, the use of these cards is increasing:

  • 80% of Argentines use either credit or debit cards
  • 76% of Brazilians have a credit or debit card
  • Every employed worker in Chile has an average of 4.4 credit cards
  • According to AMIPCI, 6 of every 10 people who shop online in Mexico do so with a credit card

38% of Latin Americans Will Buy Christmas Gifts Online This Year
Not surprisingly, this wave of e-commerce in Latin America has extended to Christmas, the busiest shopping season of the year. A recent survey from Deloitte surveyed 3,250 people from Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Colombia and Chile. Although department stories (61%) and malls (50%) are still the main options for Christmas shoppers in Latam, 38% of those surveyed said that they would buy Christmas gifts online. This is a 46% increase compared to 2012, in which 26% of Latin Americans said that they would buy Christmas gifts online.

Another interesting fact is that social media are playing a role during Christmas shopping in Latin America. According to the results, 47% of Peruvians said they plan to use social media as part of their Christmas shopping process, compared to 45% of Mexicans, 37% of Colombians, 36% of Argentines and 28% of Brazilians.

What This All Means

#1 Invest more online. This increased shopping online is driven by increased time spent online and wider access to the Internet among all Latin Americans. While offline media are still powerful in Latin America, it’s clear that these days, brands need to invest more in digital advertising to take advantage of the quick, direct revenues that come from online ads driving e-commerce.

#2 Try a platform. Besides display advertising and search, new online ad buying platforms like MediaDesk allow advertisers to buy impressions in real time at market prices and thus reach exactly who they want. Adding this to the digital mix can also help brands take advantage of Latam’s e-commerce surge.

#3 Mix in mobile. Since Latin Americans are rapidly increasing their mobile device use and using them to access the Internet much more, part of that digital investment needs to be directed towards a mobile campaign.

#4 Add social. Lots of new research has shown that Internet users in all key Latin American markets devote the majority of their time online to social media. Of all the time Latin Americans devote to social media, more than 90% of it is spent on Facebook. In other words, other social sites may deliver certain segments here and there but take take up less than 5% of the time that Latin American Internet users spend on social media.
Because of this, Facebook retargeting can make a big difference, especially for any e-commerce site looking to increase its share of Latin American customers. Learn more about this tactic here.

If you’d like to try any of these 4 routes to maximize the huge surge in e-commerce in Latin America, US Media Consulting can help through our online ad buying platform (Mediadesk), mobile ad network (Jumba Mobile Network), Facebook retargeting team and our specialized online media teams that handle digital media planning and buying for the whole region and for specific markets, including Argentina, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Colombia (where we represent Yahoo), Mexico, and more.

Please contact us to find out more.

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