One area of the world which has continued to grow from an eCommerce perspective is Latin America – an area which includes countries such as Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico. However, the country leading the growth in the online retail industry in Latin America is Brazil – a key location many eCommerce professionals are monitoring for future expansion. So what should online retailers know about this leading Latin American country? Here are a few things…
1) Brazil eCommerce sales continue to grow exponentially – According to eMarketer, eCommerce in Brazil increased to $17 billion annually in 2012 and is projected to reach $29 billion by the end of 2017. This growth in Brazil leads all countries in Latin America and Brazil should continue to lead eCommerce growth in this part of the world for several years to come.
2) Upcoming events will upgrade Brazil’s transportation infrastructure – The upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Brazil will result in a need for the country to expand their aviation and ground transportation infrastructure to support the influx of tourists. These events will likely have an indirectly positive effect on Brazil eCommerce as the logistics of shipping goods will become simplified and expedited due to the infrastructure upgrades.
3) Brazilians are logged on more than most countries – Brazilians spend a significant amount of time online, more so than other developing eCommerce nations including Russia, China, and India. Brazil also surpasses the worldwide average by more than ten hours per month with Brazilian males spending close to forty hours per month online – and that doesn’t even include time spent on mobile or tablet devices.
4) Brazilians prefer finding products and brands online – Unlike other Latin American countries such as Mexico and Argentina, citizens of Brazil prefer to seek out new brands and products online. 80% of Brazilians surveyed by Ipsos use the internet to discover new brands and products, a much larger percentage than other Latin American countries who indicated they would rather discover new products and brands via television.
5) Digital ad spending set to double in Brazil by 2016 – Given that Brazilians prefer to find products and brands online, it’s no surprise online retailers will continue to shift advertising dollars away from television and other media towards digital ads. Accounting for only $2 billion in ad spending in 2012, according to eMarketer digital ad spending in Brazil will surpass $4 billion by 2016.
6) Shift in customer care happening in Brazil – As more Brazilians go online there is a fundamental shift in the way consumers interact regarding their customer care needs, especially with younger Brazilians. While telephone customer care still remains the most popular type of customer care in Brazil, customer care via e-mail, on-site (i.e. live chat), and social networks continues to rise – especially with consumers under the age of forty.
7) Fashion and accessory shopping online is big in Brazil – The fashion and accessory industry in Brazil is growing, especially online, and makes up over 12% of all online retail sales (second only behind home appliances, according to e-bit). In addition, the fashion and accessory industry brings many Brazilians to online shopping for the first time, as word of mouth continues to spread throughout the country about the lower prices found online.
In conclusion, eCommerce in Brazil continues to evolve and is a key leader of eCommerce initiatives in Latin America. A larger percentage of Brazilians are spending more time online and looking to digital mediums to learn about new products and brands. Looking forward, it’s likely both the eCommerce industry and Brazil will continue to evolve together and it will be interesting to see how the infrastructure upgrades set to take place in the country will affect eCommerce throughout Brazil.