This page uses cookies to improve the user experience on our website. By clicking "Accept", you consent to the collection and use of the information to ensure the best browsing experience. To find out more, read out our Privacy Policy.


Cross-Border Purchases in Brazilian E-commerce

Published on 05/04/2018

In 2017, the Brazilian economy experienced some recovery. Although the exchange rate of BRL to USD did not suffer major variations throughout the year, the improved internal market conditions, such as lower inflation rate and better shipping times, favored national purchases as opposed to cross-border.


In this context, the total share of digital consumers who purchased from international websites was 48% last year*, down from 53% in 2016. However, in terms of active consumers, the cross-border segment saw a growth of 6% in 2017, reaching a total of 22.4 million buyers.



Stats of the Cross-Border Segment


Brazilian consumers spent more than ever before on cross-border websites: USD 2.7 billion. The total represents an increase of 15% compared to the previous year. Not only was the segment’s revenue up, but the number of transactions also increased by 11.3%, to a total of 73.8 million.


The e-commerce giants are the obvious favorites of Brazilian buyers who venture with the cross-border segment. AliExpress was used by 54% of the consumers, followed by Amazon US (26%) and ebay (19%). However, more and more smaller websites, particularly those working with a dropshipping model and using social media as their sales source, are becoming more popular among consumers in Brazil.


The main product categories for Brazilian consumers purchasing from a foreign website were as follows (multi-choice question):


  • Electronics – 33%
  • Fashion and accessories – 33%
  • IT – 19%
  • Games and toys – 18%
  • Home and decoration – 18%


When it comes to shipping, many Brazilians used to have their purchases delivered to a foreign country, either to friends or family’s addresses or a PO Box in said country. This was a way for them to avoid paying import taxes. In 2017, however, 90% of the buyers opted to have their purchases delivered in Brazil. Although every purchase from international websites is subject to taxation upon arrival in Brazil, 53% of consumers affirm they did not have to pay taxes. Furthermore, 52% of consumers say the purchases had a free shipping option. Considering the relevance of AliExpress for the segment, the high percentage is justified.


In terms of preferred payment methods, credit cards lead the way with 64%. PayPal had a share of 16% and 20% used other methods, which include the local boleto bancário. Although PayPal share for cross-border is significant in comparison to what it represents in the domestic e-commerce, it is worth highlighting that in 2017 its share for cross-border payments decreased by 12% as opposed to 2016. This drop can be justified by the fact that more and more international websites are looking for a local payment provider who can offer them a wide range of Brazilian payment methods.


PagBrasil, for instance, provides local payment processing in BRL, which instantly multiplies payments’ conversion as the majority of the cards issued in Brazil are not enabled for payments in foreign currency. In addition, it offers a variety of local card labels, domestic debit cards, boleto bancário (including the exclusive Boleto Flash®) and online banking transfer. To top it up, the settlement can be done in EUR or USD to a foreign country, without the need of having a local company. To learn more about PagBrasil’s cross-border payment solution, contact us.


*All the numbers were taken from the 37th edition of Ebit’s Webshoppers report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.