November 02, 2010

comScore, Inc. released results from a study of the e-commerce landscape in Latin America. The study, which surveyed nearly 800 respondents, looked at e-commerce activity across Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru as well as online banking behaviors, mobile activity and Twitter usage. The study found that although the majority of visitors to e-commerce sites in Latin America make purchases online, retailers still face obstacles in converting many consumers to online shoppers due to concerns over transaction security, availability of payment options and the selection of goods available online. The results of the study were also presented to the Latin America E-Commerce Association event held in Bogotá on December 1.

“Relative to other global regions, the e-commerce industry in Latin America is still in its infancy, but consumers are showing encouraging signs of adopting the channel,” said Alejandro Fosk, senior vice president of Latin America for comScore. “With 3 out of 5 Internet users in Latin America visiting retail sites each month, it is clear that consumers are interested in online shopping. In order to convert these browsers to buyers, retailers need to address consumers’ concerns about purchasing online in order to help the e-commerce industry develop to its full potential in this region.”

E-Commerce Site Visitors in Brazil Most Likely to Make Purchase

Among those who visited e-commerce sites in Latin America, 79 percent of males reported making an online purchase, while 88 percent of females reported doing so. Across the markets included in the survey, Brazil showed the highest percentage conversion of online e-commerce site visitors to purchasers with 94 percent of visitors in Brazil making an online purchase. Argentina followed at 89 percent, with 84 percent of e-commerce site visitors in Colombia doing so.

Security Reasons the Main Concern for Prospective Online Shoppers

Of those that did not purchase online, security ranked as the main concern among prospective shoppers. Specifically, 68 percent of females listed security concerns as a reason why they do not make purchases online, with 48 percent of males reporting this as a reason. Preferring to shop in person rather than online was also a main deterrent to online shopping, with 38 percent of males and 32 percent of females reporting this as a reason. Consumers also reported that type of payment options offered hindered their adoption of online purchasing (35 percent of males, 32 percent of females) as well as shipping costs (30 percent of males, 42 percent of females).

3 out of 4 Online Shoppers in Argentina Prefer to Make Purchases at Local Websites

An analysis of consumer preferences regarding purchasing at international versus local e-commerce websites revealed that consumers in Argentina have the strongest preference to shop at local websites with 3 out of 4 consumers preferring this option. More than half of consumers in Brazil and Colombia also preferred shopping at local websites, while slightly more than half of consumers in Mexico, Chile and Peru preferred international websites for online shopping.

Mr. Fosk added, “Across most markets, consumers show little preference for shopping at international versus local e-commerce Websites, revealing that this differentiation is of minor consideration in consumers’ online buying decisions. Both local and international retailers have the opportunity to penetrate the Latin America region.”

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