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E-commerce in Central America – statistics & facts

With approximately 50 million inhabitants and more than 60 percent of the population using the internet, Central America has the potential to reach a vast number of consumers online. In fact, figures seem to indicate that although slowly, buying products and services through the web has already been gaining popularity in the region. While Guatemala and Costa Rica were expected to be among the top 15 Latin American countries in terms of e-commerce revenue in 2020, Panama was the economy whose online segment represented the largest proportion of total retail sales.

Online shopping interests

Although there is a wide range of goods available for electronic purchase, fashion and tech products are nearly unanimously the most lucrative online shopping categories in Central American countries. As technology develops, e-commerce becomes a key tool for the future of the fashion industry, providing personalization and customized results to digital buyers. According to estimates, fashion-related internet purchases would have generated revenues of about 156 million U.S. dollars in Panama in 2020, while these would reach as much as 344 million dollars in Costa Rica. In the latter, electronics and IT were the second most acquired products online in 2019, an interest also shared by Guatemalan consumers, who, according to a 2020 survey, mainly searched for this type of products when looking to buy something on the web.

Platform preference

In the e-commerce space, both sellers and buyers have their preferences regarding the platforms they use for this activity. In 2020, businesses in both Honduras and Guatemala favored primarily the use of the open-source e-commerce solution WooCommerce to sell their products and services on the internet, followed by website building and hosting platform Squarespace. On the consumer side, online shopping platform preferences are oriented towards options that offer either variety, such as online marketplaces, or agility in the purchase process, such as apps. In Panama, for instance, the extensive catalogue of both Amazon and eBay proved to be so attractive as to make them the two most used platforms by e-shoppers in 2019, while almost three quarters of e-commerce purchases by Hondurans were made via shipping or delivery apps.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "E-commerce in Central America" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Central American e-commerce

Online shoppers

Companies

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 35 most important statistics relating to "E-commerce in Central America".

E-commerce in Central America

Dossier on the topic

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E-commerce in Central America – statistics & facts

With approximately 50 million inhabitants and more than 60 percent of the population using the internet, Central America has the potential to reach a vast number of consumers online. In fact, figures seem to indicate that although slowly, buying products and services through the web has already been gaining popularity in the region. While Guatemala and Costa Rica were expected to be among the top 15 Latin American countries in terms of e-commerce revenue in 2020, Panama was the economy whose online segment represented the largest proportion of total retail sales.

Online shopping interests

Although there is a wide range of goods available for electronic purchase, fashion and tech products are nearly unanimously the most lucrative online shopping categories in Central American countries. As technology develops, e-commerce becomes a key tool for the future of the fashion industry, providing personalization and customized results to digital buyers. According to estimates, fashion-related internet purchases would have generated revenues of about 156 million U.S. dollars in Panama in 2020, while these would reach as much as 344 million dollars in Costa Rica. In the latter, electronics and IT were the second most acquired products online in 2019, an interest also shared by Guatemalan consumers, who, according to a 2020 survey, mainly searched for this type of products when looking to buy something on the web.

Platform preference

In the e-commerce space, both sellers and buyers have their preferences regarding the platforms they use for this activity. In 2020, businesses in both Honduras and Guatemala favored primarily the use of the open-source e-commerce solution WooCommerce to sell their products and services on the internet, followed by website building and hosting platform Squarespace. On the consumer side, online shopping platform preferences are oriented towards options that offer either variety, such as online marketplaces, or agility in the purchase process, such as apps. In Panama, for instance, the extensive catalogue of both Amazon and eBay proved to be so attractive as to make them the two most used platforms by e-shoppers in 2019, while almost three quarters of e-commerce purchases by Hondurans were made via shipping or delivery apps.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 35 most important statistics relating to "E-commerce in Central America".

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