How the Brazilian e-commerce market profits from the pandemic

The e-commerce market in Brazil is continuously growing. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce sales lately marked an all-time high, especially in April.

The e-commerce market in Brazil is continuously growing. Between 2014 and 2019, the total national revenue of online purchases has risen from BRL 35.8 billion to BRL 75 billion – an increase of almost 110%. The results are related to the online sales of physical goods to private end users, via computer and mobile devices.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce sales lately marked an all-time high. Especially in April online channels became the primary or only sales opportunity for many Brazilian retailers. As a result, sales almost doubled in comparison to the same month in 2019. According to the Brazilian Chamber of Electronic Commerce (BCEC), the numbers jumped by nearly 100% in the mentioned period. 

In general, Brazil ranked as the 15th largest market for e-commerce in 2019 worldwide. Ahead of the Netherlands, for instance and only slightly behind Italy.

The latest tendencies of the Brazilian e-commerce market

A survey by the Brazilian e-commerce consultancy Compre&Confie showed, that especially smaller merchants and those who had preciously relied exclusively on sales via physical shops, until the coronavirus outbreak, have boosted Brazil’s e-commerce growth during the first five months of 2020.

“It is possible to start selling online quickly and simply, without the need for large investments”, explained Mauricio Salvador, president of Brazilian e-commerce association ABComm. Additionally, consumers have been more involved in online shopping for products regarding basic needs than physical store visits, following efforts to prevent the risk of exposure to the virus.

Among the best performing segments were home office equipment, technology and communications equipment. Other important categories were furniture and home appliances, personal care and medical products, cosmetics, food and books. “Electronic commerce is certainly one of the fastest-growing sectors of the [Brazilian] economy”, said André Dias, coordinator of the metrics committee at the BCEC.

In an additional survey among 1,500 online consumers, the fintech Ebanx studied the importance of international online shopping for Brazilians. According to the findings, Brazilians are likely to maintain or even increase their internet shopping on foreign websites after the pandemic. The focus lies on electronics, clothing, and decor items. In addition, Ebanx registered a significant increase in streaming and online games in Brazil.

The top online stores in Brazil in 2019

Based on 2019-data from the research platform ecommerceDB, the main player in the Brazilian e-commerce market is Magazine Luiza (magazineluiza.com.br) with an annual revenue of USD 2 billion in 2019. The company is focused on electronics and furniture retail. It is followed by its direct competitors Lojas Americanas (americanas.com.br, USD 790 million, 2019) and Casas Bahia (casasbahia.com.br, USD 606 million, 2019). Following the market experts, these three stores represent about 20% of the total online revenue in the country.

On the other hand, one of the fastest-growing shops lately was Funidelia (funidelia.com.br). Between 2018 and 2019, the online store registered a revenue growth of 87%. On its website, customers can buy costumes, accessories, decoration items for carnival or theme parties, for example.

Overall, the average value of purchases made in 2019 was BRL 420.40. That means an increase of just 0.2% compared to 2018. Therefore, e-commerce retailers experienced a significant increase regarding the volume of purchases. The number jumped 22,5% in relation to the previous year, up to 178.5 million purchases.

The typical profile of a Brazilian online shopper

According to the last Neotrust report published by Compre&Confie in 2019, female consumers were responsible for more than 52% of purchase orders placed in the country in 2019. Although, despite buying more, women spent less. The average value was BRL 371.70 per purchase, while men spent BRL 473.60. Following the explanation of the consultant André Dias, this difference occurs naturally as the products bought by men usually are more expensive.

Furthermore, consumers between 36 and 50 years were responsible for the largest volume of purchases. Those between 26 and 35 years came right behind, followed by the age group of those up to 25 years. Finally, there are the customers over 51 years of age.

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