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E-commerce in Latin America - statistics & facts

Latin America harbors roughly 300 million digital buyers, a figure forecast to grow over 20 percent by 2025. Although the adoption of e-commerce in this part of the world is still lower than in other emerging regions, online retail sales in Latin America are expected to reach 85 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 and hit 160 billion by 2025. On a regional level, Brazil and Mexico compete for the spotlight, accounting for 31 percent and 28 percent of the Latin American e-commerce market, respectively. However, other economies such as Argentina, Peru, and Colombia have been drawing increasing attention due to their swift growth.

The Mercado Libre hegemony

Mercado Libre has played a leading role in the development of the sector in Latin America. Although the third-party sales giant maintains a growing influence, many competitors are rising to the challenge of catching up with its e-commerce hegemony. The Chilean group Falabella, for instance, has not only been raising its bet on digital channels, but it also has benefited from the 2018 acquisition of the online shopping portal Linio. Still, no local competitor has been able to near the 1.7 billion dollars generated by Mercado Libre in the second quarter of 2021. The online marketplace created in Argentina remains at the top of the list of Latin America-born e-commerce companies. Branching out to digital payments, Mercado Libre's Mercado Pago, its online payments service, processed a staggering 50 billion U.S. dollars inside and outside the marketplace business model.

COVID-19: the ‘new normal’ consumer habits

In 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak marked a turning point in Latin America’s online consumer behavior. Confined to their homes, many people resorted to online shopping to supply their needs, activity which had, until then, been ruled out by a significant amount of the population. E-sales in Latin America grew by 230 percent during the first weeks after the declaration of the pandemic. The massive demand for home delivery boosted the growth of e-commerce segments that had already been gaining popularity in recent years, such as food and beverage. According to forecasts, food and personal care is expected to be one of the fastest-growing e-commerce categories until 2025. The shopping digitalization trend seems to have transcended the coronavirus onset, becoming an increasingly normal habit in people's everyday lives. According to a survey conducted at the end of 2020, at least eight out of ten Latin Americans surveyed said they would continue shopping online after the pandemic.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 34 most important statistics relating to "E-commerce in Latin America".


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