The online shopping habits of Latin America explained.

A little over a year ago, we set out to explore how online shopping behavior has changed in Latin America since the pandemic.  

We developed a study that surveyed more than 21,000 people about their online shopping preferences across six key LATAM markets – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico.  

 Following the study’s completion, we partnered with Google to host a webinar and discuss the results. The webinar featured our very own experts, including Regional Director for Latin America, Diego Schreiber, Regional Managing Director, Anne Marie Dono and Client Solutions Director of eCommerce, Samuel Encinas.    

Here’s what we uncovered:  

1.  Mobile shopping reigns supreme 

Our study revealed that more than 50% of online purchases are made using a mobile device, with this figure rising to 57% in Chile, 61% in Mexico, and 70% in Brazil. Interestingly, shopping apps are also widespread in Latin America with more than half of online purchases are made through an app. 

Somewhat unsurprisingly, online shopping was deemed more attractive by the younger Gen Z and millennial generations.  

For businesses in Latin America, this data suggests that brands employing a (DTC) direct-to-consumer model should focus their efforts on developing a seamless mobile user experience, possibly via a mobile app, or else ensure they partner with e-retailers with existing mobile shopping platforms.  

2. Category preferences and platform differences  

Consumers are more comfortable making purchases online in specific categories, such as travel, finance, and technology. Online shopping proved far less popular in categories such as pets, automobiles and food.  

Another trend that emerged from the study concerns the split between physical goods and services. When buying physical goods, consumers in Latin America rely heavily on retailers but show a clear preference for DTC offerings when shopping for travel or financial services. 

The study also suggested that many shoppers use a particular retailer out of habit, and brands could therefore seek to partner with those retailers and foster loyalty, or else undertake new campaigns to offer an exciting alternative to the status quo, focusing on the benefits of a DTC offering.

3. Video is the future 

Google’s portfolio of search, media and advertising products means that it still holds a considerable influence over shoppers in the LATAM region, particularly via TouTube.  

YouTube was revealed to be a top touchpoint in terms of its reach and frequency of use among shoppers, so brands may wish to explore advertising via YouTube, producing brand-funded entertainment, or else partner with content creators on the platform who are relevant to their categories. Brands may also wish to maximize their social commerce performance more generally as users gravitate towards social and video content.  

To read more about our study of online purchases in LATAM (materials in Spanish), please visit:  

To speak to one of our experts please do contact us.

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