Argentina is the fourth-largest e-commerce market in Latin America and the Caribbean, contributing to nearly seven percent of the total online sales revenue in the region. The surge in Argentina's online retail sector significantly outpaces its consistently high inflation rate. From 2021 to 2022, the annual e-commerce revenue in Argentina increased by 87 percent, roughly 15 percentage points higher than the nation's inflation rate. Altogether, business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) online sales reached 2.8 trillion Argentine pesos in 2022, bringing Argentina closer than ever to the esteemed three-billion-pesos milestone.
How big is the Argentine e-commerce market?
Between 2017 and 2022, the number of e-commerce users in Argentina grew by about 34 percent. The country where Latin America’s largest online sales portal – Mercado Libre – was born is home to almost 27 million online consumers. Digital buyer penetration is also set to keep expanding in the coming years. In 2018, less than half of the Argentine population shopped online. According to forecasts, this figure will ascend to roughly 64 percent by 2027.
In terms of sales volume, Argentine e-commerce has witnessed substantial growth since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2022, the number of items purchased by online shoppers had almost tripled compared to 2019, while the number of orders grew 137 percent. Beyond the health crisis, the market continues to evolve into a more sophisticated and dynamic landscape.
Furthermore, purchases made via mobile devices are experiencing a significant upward trend. The estimated value of these purchases was 11 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, with a projected increase of over two-fold by 2026, reaching 27 billion dollars. None of the largest Latin American e-commerce markets are poised to rival such growth.
Digital shoppers expect cheaper and faster deliveries
When asked about their reasons for buying products online, four out of ten Argentine consumers cited the convenience and simplicity of the online purchasing process. Moreover, over a third highlighted the time-saving advantages and the freedom to shop at their preferred time. Nevertheless, e-commerce in Argentina still faces challenges, particularly regarding logistics. More than 40 percent of respondents stated that high shipping costs were among the major disadvantages of online shopping. Additionally, approximately a quarter of digital shoppers mentioned delivery delays in the list of difficulties. Likely due to these factors, most Argentinians carefully plan their online purchases while heavily relying on customer reviews and conducting online research.
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