Is Latin America An E-Commerce Goldmine? eBay Seems To Think So

eBay is currently looking to widen its popularity through the Latin America market with campaigns such as free shipping, creating sites which use local languages and currencies to target these growing mobile markets. It’s an aggressive approach which aims to make the eBay brand more global. The market is lucrative and it’s easy to see why eBay are keen to push their operations there. To get a better understanding of the Latin American market, I analyzed the e-commerce industry in this region with SimilarWeb PRO.



E-Commerce Industry

SimilarWeb PRO highlighted just how huge the e-commerce market is worldwide with over 36 billion desktop visits in July 2014!


Global visits to the e-commerce industry in July 2014 by SimilarWeb PRO

Engagement levels are not exceptionally high, but it’s possible this is due to people heading online with a firm idea of what they want to purchase.


Global engagement figures for e-commerce industry in July 2014 by SimilarWeb PRO

Latin American E-Commerce Industry

What I really wanted to understand was the current landscape of e-commerce in Latin America, so I took a look at the breakdown of data for all countries. I exported the data from SimilarWeb PRO to Excel and filtered the results to show only Latin American countries. In total, the Latin American market contributes 7.84% of the worldwide traffic to e-commerce and the majority of this originates in Brazil. This may not sound a huge amount, but remember that this is a growing market and that the increased access to mobile platforms is very appealing.


eBay’s Performance In Latin America

With eBay recently launching in Latin America with their Spanish and Portugese platforms, they’re keen to make their mark. However, it’s a huge market taking in a number of diverse countries, so which country in particular stands out as the hottest prospect? I ran an analysis on SimilarWeb PRO to find out the traffic stats for the top Latin American countries sending traffic to the E-commerce industry. I also checked the rankings for each country to see where eBay placed in the local market. eBay ranks highest in Mexico, but a closer look at the figures reveals Brazil has the most untapped potential. Brazil contributed over 1.5 billion visits to the e-commerce industry, but eBay only manages 19th position in the local e-commerce rankings. This shows a highly competitive market where the rewards are high.



Brazil isn’t just an ideal hunting ground for eBay, it’s also ripe for the e-commerce industry as a whole. The stats provided by SimilarWeb, that we’ve looked at so far, have shown that they’re a rapidly growing market – just look at how they achieved a 13.05% growth in e-commerce traffic compared to the global average of 4.58%. This rapid success is highlighted by their rise to fourth in the overall e-commerce rankings – behind only the USA, UK and Russia, three well established superpowers.

The most popular categories (after General) for Brazil, in the e-commerce industry, are ‘Consumer Electronics’, ‘Clothing’ and ‘Classifieds’ as per SimilarWeb PRO’s analysis. This is very interesting as it gives an insight in to what the Brazilian market is interested in. Knowledge such as this allows strategies to be built which can exploit this interest e.g. eBay (or any e-commerce site) could decide to focus their campaigns on ‘Consumer Electronics’ and ‘Clothing’ to maximize their revenue potential.


Most popular e-commerce categories in Brazil in July 2014 by SimilarWeb PRO

As mentioned previously, the current geographic leaders in the e-commerce industry are the USA and the UK. They’re in a great position, but what can their engagement levels tell us about Brazil’s performance? I exported the engagement data from SimilarWeb PRO into Excel and found that, although out performed in the major metrics, engagement is not too far behind the US and UK benchmarks.  This illustrates the willingness with which Brazil is embracing the e-commerce lifestyle and highlights their potential as a target market for major retailers.



With such a vibrant market, eBay are sure to have competitors in Brazil that they wish to keep an eye on. SimilarWeb PRO shows that there are certainly a number of competitors out there for eBay to contend with. However, engagement levels for eBay are comparable to most of the big e-commerce brands in Brazil such as Americanas and Submarino. This provides food for thought in utilizing eBay, not just as a successful brand for the owners, but also as a platform for traders to sell their products.


Top e-commerce sites in Brazil in July 2014 by SimilarWeb PRO

Exciting Future

The Latin American e-commerce industry is a burgeoning enterprise which has captured the interest of foreign brands keen to take a slice of the action. eBay have made a great start in making a mark with this market by connecting with the local market in ways such as creating language specific sites and keeping a close eye on the growing mobile market. Brazil is, already, head and shoulders above the rest of the region in terms of traffic, so concentrating efforts here is a smart move. What would be even smarter, would be for brands to identify how Brazil was cracked and then replicate this approach in other up and coming Latin American countries such as Argentina and Mexico. The revenues are ripe for the picking, but competition is already stiff with MercadoLivre already being dubbed a ‘Latin American eBay‘, a company whom eBay knows well with it’s 18% stake in ownership. Again, the process of analyzing their success can help e-commerce marketeers understand successful local strategies and discover Latin American gold.

About the Author -

A newcomer to the world of internet marketing, but gaining fresh insight at a rapid pace. A fan of changing technologies, writing to entertain and, most importantly, retro trainers. Based in the UK.

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