2016 has been yet another challenging year for the Brazilian economy. Overall high unemployment, inflation and interest rates, in addition to lower purchasing power, have forced Brazilian consumers to cut expenses. As a direct result of this, the retail sector has seen a consistent drop in sales. According to IBGE, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística) in October alone sales declined 8.2% in comparison to the same month in 2015. On the other hand, the Brazilian e-commerce segment has sailed in a different direction, closing the year with a growth of 11% with over BRL 53 billion in revenues, according to data released by ABComm – Brazilian Electronic Commerce Association (Associação Brasileira de Comércio Eletrônico). Other sources, such as E-bit, estimate a smaller growth of 8%, but still on a positive trend.
For 2017, research by FecomercioSP/E-bit forecasts growth varying from 10% to 15% for the sector. The forecast doesn’t fall far from ABComm’s estimation of 12% increase in revenues. But apart from more market growth, what other trends can merchants expect for the e-commerce market in Brazil? Below we list the top 3 trends for the segment in 2017.
M-commerce is key for growth
M-commerce has been showing a fast growth trend in the past few years. It already represents 23% of all e-commerce transactions in Brazil, a remarkable portion considering that m-commerce represented only 0.3% of the transactions in 2011 and just under 10% in 2015. Mobile devices are becoming more and more important in Brazilians’ daily lives as well as their main source to connect to the internet. The country is already the 5th largest smartphone nation worldwide in terms of number of users (approximately 76 million) and with the advance of 3G and 4G technologies this number is likely to continue increasing. Giving m-commerce a major focus in their businesses’ strategies is therefore key to merchants’ success in Brazil.
There will be more competition
Recently, more companies have bet on the Brazilian e-commerce sector. As a consequence, there’s more competition in the market. Because of this, merchants need to find ways to differentiate their shops from others. Providing an excellent buying experience and offering a variety of local payment methods, as well as making the website responsive and providing personalized and fast customer support are good ways to start.
Optimized delivery process
Offering better options for delivery times and prices is a trend that can’t be ignored. Brazilian buyers usually have to wait long periods to receive goods as the average delivery time is around 8 days for purchases within Brazil and even longer when purchasing on international websites. However, there are new logistics solutions merchants can take advantage of. Consumers are aware of that and expect to benefit from faster deliveries. In addition, when buying on international websites, Brazilian consumers also expect not to have to pay import taxes to collect the goods. It’s therefore advisable that merchants selling into Brazil charge for that upfront.
Ultimately, 2017 trends are aligned with adapting to market needs and listening to what customers want. Buyers know what they want and they are willing to get it elsewhere if they need to. Delivering excellent service is an opportunity to stand out in a growing and competitive market.