E-commerce in Brazil - Statistics & Facts

Brazil is the most important e-commerce market in Latin America. It has been estimated that the country accounts for over one third of the region’s e-commerce market. Online retail sales are predicted to surpass 16.7 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2020. Although e-tail accounted for less than five percent of total retail sales in 2019, the percentage has increased in comparison to the previous year. Yet between 2019 and 2023, e-sales in Brazil are estimated to grow at a compound annual rate of just two percent, significantly lower than many developing economies around the world.

Aside from the region-wide marketplace Mercado Libre (known in Portuguese as Mercado Livre) some of the most popular e-commerce platforms are of local origin. Namely, B2W Digital – which owns brands such as Americanas.com and Submarino – and Magazine Luiza, a traditional retailer that has been increasingly thriving in the online environment. Still, the country constitutes a promising market for global giants such as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba, though compared to local platforms, these websites are not necessarily widely used yet. Amazon, for example, only launched full retail operations in Brazil in October 2017, after selling just books during the previous five years. Still, by 2019, nearly half of all online sales of books in Brazil were made through Amazon.com.br.

The country is set to exceed 130 million digital buyers in 2020. Though most e-shoppers in Brazil are women, men spend more per online checkout on average. The most popular payment method is credit card, while telephony was the main e-commerce category by revenue share. The end of the year is without a doubt the hottest season for e-commerce: altogether, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas generated over 20 billion Brazilian reals in online sales in 2019 (nearly five billion U.S. dollars at December 31, 2019 exchange rates). The mobile sales segment continues to grow in significance: by June 2019, more than 43 percent of all online sales in Brazil were made via mobile device, up from 23 percent reported exactly three years before.

Unsurprisingly, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been affecting Brazilian e-commerce. More than one third of internet users who participated in a recent survey conducted in the South American country said that they intended to purchase more online due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Meanwhile, online sales of hand sanitizers skyrocketed above 600 percent. Online purchases of health-related items in general more than doubled. Social distancing has also been pushing more consumers towards the digital environment, since the number of new online grocery shoppers in Brazil increased by 96 percent during the outbreak. What remains to be determined is whether these figures are just temporary side-effects or the beginning of an e-commerce fever.



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