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Online marketplaces in Latin America - statistics & facts

Across the world, Amazon and eBay are the forerunners of online sales. However, at the beginning of the 21st century, both companies were busy expanding their operations in the United States, Europe, and China, while a homegrown player was quietly rising in Latin America. Launched in Argentina in 1999 amid a deep economic crisis, Mercado Libre defied all odds by laying the foundations of e-commerce in the region. Over two decades later, the company led by Marcos Galperín has become the most popular online marketplace among Latin Americans.

A long road ahead for foreign competition

Latin America's growing adoption of e-commerce in recent years has prompted several industry giants to seek a piece of the pie. Mexico and Brazil have played a defining role in this regard. In 2020, the two countries drove the highest number of visits to Amazon and AliExpress sites from Latin America. Even so, regionally, both marketplaces face stiff competition from local players and remain far behind the leader, Mercado Libre. In addition, local sites remain Latin American buyers' top choice when spending their money online. By the end of 2021, domestic e-commerce spending in the region is forecast to be nearly six times higher than cross-border. Although shopping expenditure via international sites is expected to grow by almost 60 percent over the next three years, it is still set to account for less than a quarter of the total market in 2023.

Marketplaces: a second life for traditional retailers

Mercado Libre has inspired retailers across Latin America to go online. Chilean holding company S.A.C.I. Falabella is a case in point. The group, which already had an e-commerce segment for each of its stores, namely Falabella Retail, Sodimac, and Tottus, added online marketplace Linio to its portfolio in 2018. As part of its goal to compete as a genuine marketplace, the company took another strategic step in August 2021, integrating all its business units in Chile into a single platform.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, multi-retailer Magazine Luiza also launched its marketplace halfway through 2016. Third-party online sales had been growing steadily since, but the COVID-19 pandemic delivered an unparalleled boost. In 2020, sales through this channel amounted to more than 7.7 billion Brazilian reals, almost double the figure recorded the previous year. The sanitary crisis that forced physical stores across the region to shut down showed that online is no longer just an option. In this context, online marketplaces have emerged as an opportunity for large retailers and smaller sellers looking for a platform to offer their products. In 2020, Magazine Luiza’s seller base grew three-fold, whereas the also Brazilian e-commerce giant B2W welcomed over 40,000 more merchants on its platform.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Online marketplaces in Latin America" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Mercado Libre

Grupo Falabella

Dafiti

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 35 most important statistics relating to "Online marketplaces in Latin America".

Online marketplaces in Latin America

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Online marketplaces in Latin America - statistics & facts

Across the world, Amazon and eBay are the forerunners of online sales. However, at the beginning of the 21st century, both companies were busy expanding their operations in the United States, Europe, and China, while a homegrown player was quietly rising in Latin America. Launched in Argentina in 1999 amid a deep economic crisis, Mercado Libre defied all odds by laying the foundations of e-commerce in the region. Over two decades later, the company led by Marcos Galperín has become the most popular online marketplace among Latin Americans.

A long road ahead for foreign competition

Latin America's growing adoption of e-commerce in recent years has prompted several industry giants to seek a piece of the pie. Mexico and Brazil have played a defining role in this regard. In 2020, the two countries drove the highest number of visits to Amazon and AliExpress sites from Latin America. Even so, regionally, both marketplaces face stiff competition from local players and remain far behind the leader, Mercado Libre. In addition, local sites remain Latin American buyers' top choice when spending their money online. By the end of 2021, domestic e-commerce spending in the region is forecast to be nearly six times higher than cross-border. Although shopping expenditure via international sites is expected to grow by almost 60 percent over the next three years, it is still set to account for less than a quarter of the total market in 2023.

Marketplaces: a second life for traditional retailers

Mercado Libre has inspired retailers across Latin America to go online. Chilean holding company S.A.C.I. Falabella is a case in point. The group, which already had an e-commerce segment for each of its stores, namely Falabella Retail, Sodimac, and Tottus, added online marketplace Linio to its portfolio in 2018. As part of its goal to compete as a genuine marketplace, the company took another strategic step in August 2021, integrating all its business units in Chile into a single platform.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, multi-retailer Magazine Luiza also launched its marketplace halfway through 2016. Third-party online sales had been growing steadily since, but the COVID-19 pandemic delivered an unparalleled boost. In 2020, sales through this channel amounted to more than 7.7 billion Brazilian reals, almost double the figure recorded the previous year. The sanitary crisis that forced physical stores across the region to shut down showed that online is no longer just an option. In this context, online marketplaces have emerged as an opportunity for large retailers and smaller sellers looking for a platform to offer their products. In 2020, Magazine Luiza’s seller base grew three-fold, whereas the also Brazilian e-commerce giant B2W welcomed over 40,000 more merchants on its platform.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 35 most important statistics relating to "Online marketplaces in Latin America".

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