KEY POINTS

  • Latin America is one of the fastest-growing regions for e-commerce, behind Asia-Pacific. We expect online retail sales to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% between 2014 and 2019 to reach $85 billion in sales at the end of the forecast period.
  • Brazil is the largest online retail market in Latin America, accounting for 42% of the region's $47.4 billion in e-commerce sales. But e-commerce growth is decelerating due to an economic downturn. Between 2014 and 2019, we expect e-commerce sales to rise at a CAGR of 12.5%.
  • The three largest e-commerce product categories in Brazil are apparel, health and beauty, and home appliances. Those categories account for 17%, 15%, and 12% of the country's e-commerce sales, respectively. 
  • Mexico is the second-largest market for e-commerce in Latin America. Mexico currently accounts for 12.3% of the region's e-commerce, but we expect Mexico's share to increase to 15.6% by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 24.8%. By 2018, Mexico is forecast to reach $11 billion in e-commerce sales — or just under 2.5% of total retail sales in the country. 
  • But in order for Mexico's e-commerce market to really take off, one of the biggest changes will have to come through the payments industry. 32% of online purchases last year were made with cash on delivery, according to Allpago. 
  • Argentina ranks third in terms of online retail sales in Latin America, but it will be the fastest-growing e-commerce market of the three countries. The country currently accounts for 8.9% of sales in the region, but by 2019, we expect its market share to increase to 14.6%. 
  • E-commerce sales in Argentina are highly fragmented across product categories, and this is likely because the market is so nascent. But with high internet penetration, we expect e-commerce sales to rise fast this year. We see strong potential for grocery delivery e-commerce sales in the country, and in Latin America more broadly.
  • US retailers are investing heavily in building out their e-commerce businesses in the region, despite the slowing economy. Walmart recently redesigned its country-specific site in Brazil and is finalizing construction of three new e-commerce fulfillment centers in the country — doubling its current fulfillment network. Amazon has been investing heavily in Mexico, launching a Spanish-speaking version of its shopping site under the Mexican domain Amazon.com.mx.

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