Maybe not much people have high hopes on eCommerce in Latin America. However, you have to know that from Mexico to Argentina, technology’s shape-shifting and so is doing its mobile commerce market.

Brazil, Argentina and Mexico

It’s logical that with more payment options and a deeper penetration of smartphones per citizen, the Latin American society seeks to improve and develop a much richer eCommerce ecosystem.

Even so, the electronic commerce industry (and particularly, mobile commerce) is still immature, even in the most developed and tech-edge countries. Latin America is still far from reaching China or United States, in which almost half of the consumption and payments are done trough Internet.

However, we don’t have to be so pessimist… the eCommerce Latin America has its key players strictly name labeled: Brazil (first), Argentina and Mexico.

Forrester states that these 3 countries are the ones expected to double eCommerce income forward to 2018, reaching at least (grouped) a total of 47.000 million US dollars.

The big trouble regarding eCommerce in Latin America is mainly related to banking. As opposed to US or Europe, in Latin America more than half of the citizens don’t even have a banking account, which drives people to pay with cash almost anywhere.

Smartphones are the key for eCommerce in Latin America

Of course, that pretty much sucks for eCommerce. Many of the big Internet and payment companies had to sort that fact in some way.

Still, even with low banking penetration, Latin America is pretty strong in mobile penetration, which gives high hopes to mobile commerce. For example, 90% of Mexico’s citizens has at least a mobile phone, being 60% of them strictly “smartphones”.

It’s also interesting to see how eCommerce in Latin America has been performing through its ‘ages’. MercadoLibre, for example, has been its native eCommerce platform (being the most popular as well), but in recent times some other companies have ‘disrupted’ the industry, being Groupon a remarked example.


So, basically, eCommerce in Latin America has two major challenges:

  1. To generate a wider penetration regarding digital banking.
  2. To boost internet access and help its users to dispose of 4G Technology everywhere.

Of course, and you may already know it, a cultural change is needed, because even with cut edge technology if no one’s able to use it there’s clearly no point on these development procedures.

Image: ShutterStock

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