Latin America is an exciting place for those with an interest in the future of e-commerce. This is especially true of Argentina, which has been forecast to rank second worldwide in terms of retail e-commerce development with a compound annual growth rate of 16.3 percent between 2020 and 2024. Likewise, the South American country was projected to surpass both Chile and Colombia and rank third among the largest e-commerce markets in Latin America, only behind Mexico and Brazil. Overall, the annual online sales revenue amounted to 403 billion Argentine pesos, an increase of approximately 75.5 percent compared with the previous year and notably above Argentina’s inflation rate.
A land of marketplaces
It is not just online sales that are predicted to rise in Argentina. The number of e-commerce users, estimated at around 25 million, has also been forecast to continue to increase in the near future. Since 2019, more than half of the Argentine population shops online, often at online marketplaces. In the home country of Mercado Libre, this business model is a recurring formula for e-commerce enterprises. Garbarino, a traditional Buenos Aires-based retailer, turned to online third-party sellers in the first half of 2020 in an attempt to update its brand identity. The move quickly led to comparisons with the market leader, Mercado Libre. That comes as no surprise considering that Argentina made up one fifth of Mercado Libre’s revenue and that the company’s sales in the South American country have consistently increased throughout the second half of the 2010s.
COVID-19: winners and losers
The impact of the novel coronavirus on e-commerce is also being felt in Argentina. As early as April 2020, the online sales revenue grew by 84 percent compared to the monthly average of the first quarter of the same year, whereas the numbers of items sold and of checkouts increased by 71 percent and 38 percent, respectively. However, COVID-19’s side effects on e-tail has affected multiple sectors in different ways. Supermarkets, restaurants, and drugstores recorded the highest rises in online transactions, while product categories such as travel agencies, hotels, clothing, and airlines registered declines of more than 25 percent. Subsequently, digital sales of apparel items increased, but far less than essential goods’ and consumer electronics’. Nevertheless, the long-term effects of these changes remain to be seen.
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In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 34 most important statistics relating to "E-commerce in Argentina".