Brazil flag Brazil: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Brazil


Internet access
With a population of over 200 million people, Brazil is the 5th most populous country in the world and the largest internet market in Latin America. As of 2017, Brazil is the fourth largest  internet market worldwide, with a user base of 139.111.185 people, placing penetration around 66%. The number of smartphone users in Brazil is estimated to reach 84.24 million by the end of 2018. Monthly internet usage in Brazil amounted to 25.7 hours per user in 2016. In comparison, the Latin American average is 18.6 hours. The most popular search engines in the country are Google, Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo and Baidu. Google is by far the most popular and accounted for 96.98% market share, followed by Bing with 1.61%. Google is  the most dominant search engine in the Latin American online search market, with a desktop search market share of over 92% in several leading markets in the region.
E-commerce market
Brazilian e-Commerce ended 2017 with US$18 billion in earnings, a number that has been increasing over the past few years and is expected to reach US$ 23 billion by 2021. With a predicted online retail growth of 12% in 2018, Brazil continues to be an outstanding opportunity for online retailers in Latin America and the world. Mobile commerce continues to be one of the strongest trends for the coming years. Consumers are learning to compare prices and product information via the internet and often prefer the convenience of purchasing items via e-Commerce. The rise in sales of mobile devices (2%), compared to the decrease in sales of notebooks (30%) and desktops (37%) demonstrates a change in people’s lifestyle and buying habits. Mobile devices were used for 27.3% of e-commerce purchases according to Ebit and up to 31% according to Atlas and ABComm, a significant growth in comparison to 2016, when its share was 22%. However, when it comes to completing an online purchase desktop is still the most popular device. According to the e-Commerce Foundation, 25% of people use their smartphones to look for information on a particular product every week, while 12% do that on their computers. Additionally, 6% of people use their smartphone to purchase goods on a weekly basis and 3% of them use their computers to make the purchases.
E-commerce sales and customers
According to Euromonitor International, Brazil represents about 42% of all B2C e-commerce in Latin America. In 2017, an estimated 52.8 million people were shopping online in the country, representing an increase of 11% compared to 2016. According to the e-Commerce Foundation, the number of e‐shoppers is increasing, but they are spending less on average. Brazil registered a total of 111.2 million e-commerce transactions in 2017, with an average transaction amount of US$ 130. The main product categories by revenue are telephony/mobile, which took the first position from household appliances for the first time, with 21.2%, followed by household appliances (19.3%), electronics (10%), IT (8.9%), home and decoration (8.4%) and fashion and accessories (6.1%). Although the most popular websites amongst online shoppers are national ones, purchasing on international websites is common. According to Statista, 23% of Brazilian consumers shop on US-based websites versus only 9% of European consumers. Half of the Brazilian population (around 100 million people) have purchased on international websites at least once, according to E-bit. Chinese websites are also very popular among Brazilian shoppers. According to eBit research, the top five most used international websites are AliExpress (45% of consumers), (40%), eBay (26%), DealExtreme (12%) and Apple Store (10%). Brazilian e-commerce sales are mostly concentrated among the younger population, with people aged 25-34 representing 38% of online shoppers and people aged 35-44 representing 23%.  When it comes to gender, things are balanced, with women accounting for 50.1% of total online shoppers and men 49.9%. The majority of online shoppers (65%) live in the Southeast area of Brazil, 15% of them live in the South, 13% in the Northeast, 7% in the Centre-West and only 3% in the north. 22% of consumers buy either daily or weekly, 37% of them do it monthly and 41% only buy a few times a year. According to PagBrasil, most online purchases are paid using credit cards (58%), followed by Boleto Bancário, which is a type of payment slip popular with people who do not have credit cards (25%), online banking transfer (13%) and debit cards (5%). Debit cards are still a novelty for e-commerce in Brazil and have only recently been made available for online payments. Many Brazilian websites do not accept international credit cards. The most commonly accepted cards in Brazil are Visa and MasterCard. Credit card payments with instalments are an absolute must in Brazil. They can represent 75% or more of all credit card payments, depending on the products sold by an online store.
Social media
In 2013, the Wall Street Journal bestowed Brazil with the title of “Social Media Capital of the Universe”. Brazilian users are among the world's most engaged, spending an increasing amount of time on social media (in 2017, the daily average spent on social media was 3 hours 43 minutes). Facebook and WhatsApp are the leading social networks in the country, followed by Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Twitter. According to a report by We Are Social, as of 2017 122 million people in Brazil are active on social media, which accounts for 87.7% of all internet users in the country. Of them, over 100 million are active on a daily basis. The number of social media users is up 18% since January of 2016, so it is clear that social media is a rapidly-growing sector in Brazil. Brazil has the third largest Facebook user base in the world, after India and the US, and they have the third highest number of Google+ users worldwide. Almost 18 million people use Twitter, making it their sixth highest user base. 
Around 63% of online shoppers receive and search recommendation through social media before making any purchase, according to the Brazilian Ecommerce Association. More than 60% of companies in Brazil invest in a paid advertising strategy, with the intent of raising brand visibility and increasing sales. Of this percentage, 98.5 % of businesses invest their money in Facebook Ads, which, being less expensive than Google AdWords, is a great option for small to medium sized brands who want short-term results with a low budget.

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Latest Update: March 2023

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