IBC Brazil ? International Business Communications
By Vicki Matranga, Design Programs Coordinator
Digital businesses are investing in Latin America’s rapidly evolving B2C retailing, according to the September 2014 issue of Internet Retailer, published by Chicago-based Vertical Web Media, LLC. The magazine maps internet retail’s growth in Latin America and describes how web merchants spend heavily and think creatively to overcome obstacles in Brazil’s e-commerce market.
Internet Retailer profiles the top e-commerce markets in Latin America and spotlights the region’s largest economy. Brazilian e-retailers claimed 65.2% of Latin America’s web sales in 2013. A compound annual growth rate of 20.09% is expected to more than double sales from US $15 billion in 2013 to US $31.2 billion in 2017. Similarly, the number of online shoppers is projected to expand 13% annually from 30.9 million in 2013 to reach 50.3 million in 2017.
The article presents information and forecasts from sources such as Latin American web marketplace operator MercadoLibre, Inc., which began its online shopping portal in 1999, Forrester Research, Euromonitor and the World Bank. A strong middle class with steady household incomes, increased spending online and growing internet access attracts merchants to invest in e-commerce now. They see the next two to three years as their prime opportunity to build market share, especially among the growing number of consumers with smartphones and access to the mobile web. The online shopper in Brazil is becoming more mass market, with middle-and lower-income consumers now shifting their spending online and online sales expanding outside of the major cities.
Brazil’s online merchants of all sizes face significant challenges in logistics and communication. The national highway system is poorly developed and there are no large private carriers such as FedEx or UPS to manage deliveries nationwide. Internet connectivity can be spotty and slow and many of Brazil’s rural areas don’t have web access.