After two years marked by unparalleled mobility restrictions, online shopping in Brazil is even bigger and more mobile-oriented. The largest e-commerce market in Latin America rose to the occasion and turned the sour lemons of the COVID-19 outbreak into a profitable, home-delivered lemonade. In 2021, its online shopping revenue amounted to 161 billion Brazilian reals, more than twice as much as 2019, and nearly 30 percent more than 2020. Sales through mobile devices – known as m-commerce – generates most of the South American country’s e-commerce revenue, a trend set to increase in the near future. As the protagonists of these changing times, the major players in this industry benefited from the coronavirus pandemic, and now the competition is tighter than ever.
May the best shopping site win
In early 2022, Mercado Livre – the name in Portuguese for Argentine e-commerce giant Mercado Libre – was the most visited e-commerce website in Brazil. Americanas.com, formerly controlled by B2W Companhia Digital before the firm merged with Americanas S.A. in July 2021, ranked second, while the Brazilian operation of OLX placed third. Just behind was Magazine Luiza, a traditional retailer founded in the countryside of the state of São Paulo in the late 1950s. This long-established company had the biggest online gross revenue among retailers in Brazil in 2020. MagaLu, as it is also known, keeps adjusting its core business according to customers’ demands. In 2021, online sales accounted for more than 70% of Magazine Luiza’s total retail sales, while they did not even add up to half of the company’s sales before the pandemic.
Everybody online says ‘love’
A myriad of online shopping holidays boosts Brazil’s e-commerce throughout the calendar. Usually, Lovers’ Day, Mother’s Day, and Christmas are the hottest seasons. The Brazilian version of Valentine's Day was created by an adman in 1948 and celebrated every June 12 since. In 2021, sales through the internet during the 15-day-period preceding that date were forecast at 6.9 billion reals, the highest revenue so far. But e-commerce shall not live by love alone. Black Friday is also among the most popular online events, with around 4.2 billion reals in online revenue in 2021. The strategic placement of these two dates – in the middle and at the end of the year – suggests that e-shoppers and e-tailers in Brazil have at least one thing in common: both wait for the best opportunities.
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