China, the US, and the UK lead international eCommerce. While in Latin America, Argentina has more than 90% Internet penetration, its eCommerce sales are barely a quarter of those of a giant like Brazil, which, like Mexico, is among the 15 countries with the highest online sales. Latin America seems to have a strong presence in this sector and Aaron Rodriguez, an eCommerce specialist, delves into the changes the region has experienced due to this movement.
eCommerce is growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, as figures worldwide have shown. It is increasingly common that people prefer to buy through the Internet, which, according to analysts, responds, among other things, to the penetration of technology and changes in consumer habits.
It was estimated that in 2019, eCommerce in the world would have a turnover of more than $3 billion, representing 12.8% of total retail sales, a figure that has grown steadily in recent times and is a sign of the importance of this mode of purchase today.
This creates, according to Rodriguez, significant economic development opportunities for the international market. The expert’s study analyzes two important aspects: annual eCommerce sales and the percentage of Internet penetration. The purpose of the study is to understand the global status of eCommerce and its relationship with social networks and the digital divide in each nation.
“Regional economic and infrastructure developments can also be interpreted from the research, in addition to the pending tasks that are required to contribute to a balanced increase in the global digital economy. It should be noted that the indicators are dynamic, i.e., economic fluctuations and changes in the socio-political contexts of each country make constant changes,” says Rodriguez.
According to the expert, of the total eCommerce sales in the world, Latin America contributes almost 3%. In 2019, the sector’s sales represented 3.5% of retail in the region. Its annual increase has been up to 15.7%, thanks to the reduction of the digital divide, investment in infrastructure, and an increasingly banked population.
In the region, eCommerce sales are led by Brazil with $19 billion, followed by Mexico with $17 billion. Sales in the Aztec lands are almost three times those of Chile and four times those of Peru. “Latin American countries have an Internet penetration of over 50%, with an average penetration rate of 70%. There are more than 300 million Facebook users in the region,” Rodriguez said.
Although Argentina has more than 90% Internet penetration, its eCommerce sales are only a quarter of Brazil’s, which places it fourth in the region. Colombia, on the other hand, is one of the major potential players: with less than 70% Internet penetration, its sales are just below those of Argentina.
Chile is positioned as the third country in the Latin American region with the highest sales, reaching more than $5.8 billion in turnover. The Santiago Chamber of Commerce (SCC) has forecast a growth of more than 3% in recent years. With only 22 million Internet users and a much smaller population than Colombia and Argentina, sales in Peru are very close to those countries, demonstrating an active and optimistic participation in the sector.
In the Southern Cone, total sales in the sector reach $39 billion, of which Brazil contributes 50%, Chile 15%, Argentina 11%, Colombia and Peru 10%, Ecuador 2% and Venezuela just 1%. In some countries, eCommerce sales are growing at double digits. In Latin America, the aspects that have accelerated growth are related to public and private investment in infrastructure, banking, and increased user confidence that is reflected in purchases with an increasingly higher ticket.
The near future will continue to transform eCommerce with trends such as the use of artificial intelligence, product search by voice, the sale of products from images on social networks, the reduction of delivery times, and the incorporation of new generations that have different shopping habits and preferences.