Latin America E-commerce Market Projections, 2021-2024

Powerful growth will define the future of Latin America’s e-commerce market: 29% growth in volume between 2020 and 2024 with a projected volume of more than US$580 billion, according to Americas Market Intelligence (AMI) analysis from its 2020-2024 LatAm E-Commerce Datapack.

While there are more than 20 countries in Latin America, only a handful have developed strong e-commerce markets with significant amounts of transactions. The top 6 that AMI identified are:

  • Brazil: E-commerce market worth $147.6 billion in 2021
  • Mexico: E-commerce market worth $49.6 billion in 2021
  • Colombia: E-commerce market worth $18.8 billion in 2021
  • Argentina: E-commerce market worth $17.1 billion in 2021
  • Chile: E-commerce market worth $16.5 billion in 2021
  • Peru: E-commerce market worth $9.9 billion in 2021

By 2024 75% of e-commerce purchases in Latin America will be done with a mobile device.

Defining E-Commerce in LatAm Markets

This is a key point, because often the definition of e-commerce in LatAm and other markets can be vague or restricted to specific merchant verticals or payment methods. For the purposes of AMI’s analysis, e-commerce was defined as all online purchases of goods and services, regardless of the device or payment method used. The data employed in AMI’s analysis includes:

  • Purchases made using all locally issued payment methods
  • Cross-border purchases made with locally issued credit and debit cards
  • B2C and some B2C commerce made with a credit/debit card or that is processed via an e-commerce gateway
  • Physical products and services, such as retail (physical products purchased directly from a merchant or marketplace),
  • Travel (such as plane tickets, car rentals, hotels, etc.)
  • Digital goods (such as ride hailing services, delivery apps, streaming)
  • Other services (recurring payments such as monthly bills, insurance payments, school tuition, taxes, etc.)Excluded from this analysis were payments made by international visitors and B2B e-commerce done via wire transfer or paid invoice NOT captured in an e-commerce gateway.

In 2020 debit cards accounted for 14% of e-commerce purchases in Latin America.

Other Key Datapoints

Beyond sheer volume and growth, AMI’s analysis also look at different aspects of e-commerce in Latin America. Among its findings are that:

  • 86% of e-commerce transactions made in Latin America in 2021 will be domestic, the remainder cross-border
  • While in 2019 more than 56% of e-commerce transactions in Latin America were made with a desktop computer, in 2020 the balance shifted to mobile representing 55.3% of transactions and desktop at less than 45%
  • By 2024 AMI projects that more than 75% of e-commerce transactions in Latin America will be done with a mobile device
  • While credit cards were used in 56% of e-commerce purchases in Latin America in 2020, AMI projects that by 2024 their share will go down by 2% while the share of bank transfers used for e-commerce will more than double

Going Further

Beyond growth projections, AMI specializes in research and market intelligence for the LatAm e-commerce in a number of key areas:

  • Identifying the major payment methods used in different Latin American e-commerce markets to help merchants with strategic planning, market entry and market expansion
  • Helping merchants understand the cross-border e-commerce potential in different Latin American markets and the practices that can increase cross-border sales
  • Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help merchants analyze their customer data for a deeper understanding of e-commerce shopper behavior and tendencies so as to refine their marketing tactics, messaging and consumer outreach

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