Over the past two years, Latin American countries showed significant growth in e-commerce sales. In Brazil alone, e-commerce grew 43% between 2010 and 2011, reaching a total of more than $25 billion, which represents more than half the total for all of Latin America. Online sales reached 1% of Brazil’s gross domestic product.
A study conducted by AméricaEconomia Intelligence and commissioned by Visa noted that e-commerce grew for various reasons, including increased security and confidence at the time of purchase, platform trading from new channels like social commerce (trade from social platforms), government reforms that helped encourage e-commerce and increased banking levels as well as greater use of electronic payment methods such as credit cards.
In the Latin American region, Brazil’s total e-commerce sales accounted for 59.1% of the total share, followed by Mexico, which recorded 14.2%. The Caribbean accounted for 6.4%, Argentina for 6.2%, followed by Chile (3.5%), Venezuela (3.3%), Central America (2.4%), Colombia (2%) and Peru (1.4%).
According to the study, e-commerce in the region is expected to grow 26% in 2012 and 28.5% in 2013. Also, by 2015, mobile Internet use is expected to generate increased purchase activity, once smartphone penetration reaches 50%.
AméricaEconomia Intelligence highlighted several trends that contributed to the accelerated online shopping evolution in the region over the last two years: social commerce and the coupon phenomenon, increased security and confidence when shopping online, the expansion of e-tailers (online stores) and increased banking activity, a result of economic development in the region which has allowed more people to have a bank account.