E-commerce in Chile – statistics & facts

When it comes to online shopping for products and services, Chile goes the extra mile. Annual e-commerce sales in the South American country surpassed six billion dollars in revenue in 2019, an increase of almost 17 percent compared to the previous year. Furthermore, other estimates project that Chilean online sales revenue would jump over 21 percent in 2020, despite – or because of – the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, in 2020, business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales are forecast to represent 9.5 percent of total retail sales in Chile, a share which is more than three times higher than that predicted for overall Latin America. Likewise, the percentage of online sales done through a mobile device has consistently increased over recent years.

E-services & e-tailers

Approximately three out of ten Chilean internet users turn to sharing economy services at least once a week. The most sought-after solutions include ride-hailing (such as Cabify and Uber), second-hand retail (like Prilov and Yapo), and food delivery (Rappi, Uber Eats, etc.). E-tailers have also found a diverse ecosystem in Chile’s online economy. Yapo.cl – a marketplace focused on consumer-to-consumer (C2C) e-commerce – concentrated most unique visitors among retail websites. It was followed by Mercado Libre and Falabella’s chain of home improvement stores Sodimac. As of January 2020, consumer electronics were the most popular product category in Chile’s e-commerce, but this would soon change due to a major factor that most did not see coming.

The impact of COVID-19

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has led to quick shifts in digital consumer behavior in Chile. The percentage of internet users shopping online has increased by nearly 22 percent. Buyers have altogether avoided going to physical stores even if just to pick up products they had purchased online. More internet shoppers said they were interested in starting to buy or increase the frequency with which they buy staple goods and willing to stop buying or reduce the frequency with which they buy apparel and technology products. Another study confirmed that there has been an upsurge in online purchases of food and cleaning products, a decreased interest of clothing items, and an even sharper decline in the technology category. Nevertheless, as heavy users of e-commerce – at least for Latin American standards – Chileans are likely to later re-evaluate their online consumption needs.

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E-commerce in Chile

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