Around the world, 2020 recalls widespread lockdowns and mobility restrictions. In Latin America, Mercado Libre is likely to be remembered for seizing this opportunity. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the e-commerce giant born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has experienced a significant surge in the region. In 2022, MercadoLibre, Inc. generated a net revenue of 10.5 billion U.S. dollars, almost equivalent to the combined revenues of 2020 and 2021. The marketplace's unique active users also grew significantly following the pandemic, reaching 148 million in 2021, almost half of all e-commerce users in Latin America.
A little less Brazil, a little more Mexico
As more Latin Americans turned to online shopping due to the pandemic, Mercado Libre’s dynamics in the 18 markets where it operates changed accordingly. Brazil still accounts for most of the revenue generated by the company, but its share has declined compared to 2019. Meanwhile, Mexico and its home country, Argentina, have increased their contribution to Mercado Libre's revenue. Still, it is in Mexico that competition tends to be stiffest. That is due, in part, to the high amount of Mexican consumers who buy online from U.S. websites and their proximity to one of Mercado Libre's main competitors, Amazon.
The race to deliver is on
The growing demand for online shopping triggered by the pandemic brought urgency to a persistent problem in Latin America, logistics. Realizing the online shopping game is also a race to deliver, e-commerce companies have been increasingly investing in logistics and transportation across the region, seeking to reduce costs and delivery times within and beyond its borders.
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