5 Things to Know About E-Commerce in Brazil

Five highlights from the latest E-bit report on the state of e-commerce in Brazil.

Brazil’s e-commerce market is among the most attractive in the world, and by the looks of it, momentum continues to build. This week, E-bit released the 29th edition of Webshoppers, its bi-annual report on the state of online retail in Brazil.

In 2013, the country’s e-commerce market grew 28%, reaching R$28.8 billion (US$12.2 billion) in sales. Over 88 million orders were made online, the most popular categories being fashion and accessories, cosmetics and appliances. Mobile is on the rise as well, with 2.5% of purchases made via mobile devices in January 2013 and 4.8% by December – double.

Here are five other takeaways from the report:

  • Inflation Not a Major Factor. Despite relatively high inflation rates in Brazil last year, the e-commerce market continued to flourish, outdoing growth rate expectations by 3%. Black Friday, it turns out, was a major driver here, resulting in R$770 million (US$326 million) in sales.
  • Return and Exchange Policies Remain Problematic. Out of every 10 people who wanted to exchange a product bought online in 2013, only three were able to do so without difficulty last year. And for those wishing to return a product, only two out of 10 were able to do so easily. Moreover, about 30% of online consumers decided against returning and exchanging products because of the bureaucracy involved.
  • Omni-Channel is on the Rise. Consumers want a seamless experience across all channels, from smartphones and tablets to the television, radio and physical stores. Retailers are still figuring out how to manage this desire, aligning branding, offers and approach. A major issue is pricing and in-store consumers comparing numbers online.
  • Prices Remain Stable. According to an index put together by FIPE and Buscapé, Brazilian e-commerce prices have remained quite stable for quite some time, actually declining -1.78% in 2013. In fact, over a 36-month period (ending in January 2014), prices were hiked in only eight months.
  • Momentum is Expected to Continue. Looking to the year ahead, Brazil’s e-commerce market will continue to boom. The sector is anticipated to grow 20% in 2014, reaching R$34.6 billion (US$14.6 billion) in sales. Mobile will continue to grow as well, especially as more retailers adapt their platforms for navigation from smartphones and tablets.

See the full Webshoppers report, in Portuguese, here.