In 2017, Mexico accounted for around twenty percent of Latin American e-commerce. Compared to e-commerce penetration around the globe, Mexico’s online sales segment is still rather small: online shopping represented only around two percent of total retail sales in 2017. However, e-retail sales are estimated to grow at an annual rate of more than 11 percent between 2018 and 2021, with e-commerce sales projected to exceed 15 million U.S. dollars by 2021.
Amazon, Mercado Libre and Walmart are the leading e-commerce platforms in Mexico – all of which are of foreign origin. According to a survey, the most popular e-retailer in Mexico in 2017 was the Latin American marketplace Mercado Libre, with 52 percent of Mexican online shoppers stating they had bought something on that website in the previous year. The online portals Liverpool and Walmart came in second and third, with an online shopper reach of 24 and 23 percent respectively.
In 2017, Amazon overtook Mercado Libre by around 16 million dollars in sales revenue – but not in popularity among Mexicans. The global e-commerce giant only launched its prime modality in Mexico in March 2017. In October of the same year, it also introduced a cash payments service, which likely helped favor its growth in the country.
Mexico had around 37 million digital buyers in 2017, out of which 51.4 percent were men. That same year, over two-thirds of Mexican online shoppers were between 25 and 54 years old. The majority of them (86 percent) resided in urban areas. The most used payment method for online shopping was credit card, with a share of 30 percent. The hottest seasons for online buyers were Christmas and the annual nationwide shopping event El Buen Fin, both of which registered 92 percent of growth in online sales in 2017 compared to the previous year.
Finally, the most popular types of products bought online in Mexico in 2017 were reservations and tickets, followed by electronic devices and software. Consumer electronics was the category with the highest retail sales value in the same year, amounting to nearly 28.8 billion Mexican pesos (around 1.5 billion U.S. dollars at December 31, 2017 exchange rates). Regarding preferred devices, online shopping in Mexico was mostly carried out on desktop computers in 2017, though the revenue generated in the mobile segment is set to grow almost three-fold in the coming years, going from 8 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to 21 billion by 2021.