Brazil E-Commerce 2017: Ripe for Social Shopping?

Brazil is big and important


The e-commerce market is growing modestly at 2.8%, but it’s still the biggest e-commerce market in Latin America, by far. Moreover, the country is expected to maintain its stronghold boasting the largest e-commerce retail sales numbers in the region, reaching $22 billion by 2020. Brazil’s sizeable population is ahead of Mexico in disposable income, at nearly $600 compared to Mexico’s $535, making it an attractive market for consideration.

Retail e-commerce and m-commerce are growing in 2017


Brazil’s retail market size is $615 billion: proof that Brazilians are still consuming, providing new international retailers a rich foundation with which to establish roots, even in the midst of economic recovery. Some evidence suggests the recession has prompted Brazilians to shop more consciously, with search engines especially driving e-commerce growth as citizens seek price advantages.

As the most populous nation in Latin America at 210 million (and the 4th largest population of internet users in the world,) Brazil’s retail m-commerce sales are expected to climb to 34.3%, with total retail e-commerce sales reaching 22.6 billion between 2017 and 2020.

In Brazil, clothing has been one of the top 3 most popular e-commerce categories for nearly 5 years now, especially when it comes to cross-border purchases. Recently, leading Brazilian apparel retailer Guararapes invested $9 million into launching its online division, leaning into Brazilians’ preference for buying clothes and accessories online.

Brazilians love to socialize online, and 49% of them purchase cross-border

Even though smartphone penetration recently doubled in the 10th largest e-commerce market in the world, 80% of Brazilians are still opting to follow through with online purchases via desktop and laptop. Additionally, 49% of online shoppers in Brazil are making both domestic and cross-border, or only cross-border purchases.

It should also be noted that over 60 million Brazilians are on Facebook—even more interesting, they spend the most amount of time on the social network per visit, averaging around 21 minutes. To this end, the landscape suggests that international merchants might do well to invest in social shopping and advertising.


The breadth and maturity of Brazil’s e-commerce marketplace seems to have mostly insulated it from the economic stressors of a challenging recession, where both e-commerce and m-commerce continue to grow and evolve. Even local investors are responding, especially in the fashion sector. By leveraging social shopping and mobile optimization strategies, international e-tailers interested in Latin America can look to Brazil. While the market has challenges, e-commerce and m-commerce growth shows the market is complex, yet robust.

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