When COVID-19 started spreading rapidly back in march, most businesses in Latin America had to shut their doors to the public indefinitely. However, with this shutdown came the rapid shift towards one sector:

E-Commerce!

Use of e-commerce in Latin America has been increasing for years. However, the current pandemic and its resulting economic shutdown have caused the shift to come more rapidly.

In fact, as of April, e-commerce revenue has grown 230% in Latin America altogether!

This rapid shift to e-commerce in Latin America is exemplified in 3 countries: Peru, Brazil and Mexico. Keep reading to find out more!

E-Commerce in Peru

The graph below shows the overall Latin America growth in e-commerce (as of April 2020) along with the top 4 countries within the region who have had rapid growth: 

Shows increase in e-commerce sales in Latin America during COVID-19 pandemic.

Peru has had a shocking 900% increase in e-commerce revenue! Such increases have not been seen anywhere else so it is definitely a trend to keep an eye on!

Studies conducted by Statista found that almost 30% of Peruvian consumers wanted to either start or increase their purchase of staple goods and groceries online! Additionally, 28% of consumers also said they were willing to shop for medicines online now as well.

E-Commerce in Brazil

For the past few years, Brazil has been the Latin American market leader in e-commerce sales. In 2016, Brazil alone had e-commerce sales that totaled to about $16.55 billion U.S. dollars. 

Market intelligence platforms, AMI and EchoMR, surveyed 2,000 internet-using adults in Latin America to find out more about their new online habits amid the pandemic. The results revealed that in Brazil, 59% of online consumers increased their e-commerce activity. 

In addition, data from Statista shows that in March 2020, online sales of health products increased by a whopping 124%

E-commerce in Brazil sales during COVID-19

E-Commerce in Mexico

Like Brazil, Mexico’s e-commerce sales have been on the rise for years. In 2016, Mexico had an annual e-commerce sales of $7.19 billion U.S. dollars. 

A survey carried out in April 2020, by Statista, found that the need to stay inside during the pandemic was the leading reason for people to choose to buy online in Mexico. It was followed by wanting to avoid crowds at physical stores:

Top reasons for using e-commerce in Mexico

Mercado Libre, an online marketplace dedicated to e-commerce and online auctions, released data on the categories that have seen the highest online sales since the start of the pandemic:

  • Homecare and Laundry are the main products that Mexican consumers are increasingly buying online. It has seen a 403% increase in this category! 
  • Mass Consumption Products have the second highest increase in online sales at 120%!
  • Pharmaceutical Products, unsurprisingly, have had a 114% increase in online sales. 

Future of E-Commerce in Latin America

While you may think that once things return to normal, people will go back to their more traditional ways of shopping, this is actually highly unlikely!

In Brazil alone, 82% of people stated in a survey that they will likely continue to keep shopping online even once the Covid-19 outbreak is over. And in Latin America overall, 78% of consumers are willing to keep shopping online post-Covid-19. 

future e-commerce usage in Latin America

So, what does this mean for your business?

With e-commerce rapidly growing in Latin America, now is the perfect time for your business to enter the market! 

Want to Grow Your Business’ E-Commerce in Latin America?

Reach out to our digital marketing experts at hola@colibricontent.com to find out how we can help your business transition into the Latin American market!

In the meantime, feel free to check out our free resources to stay up to date on the latest Latin American and U.S. Hispanic Marketing trends!


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