Brazil offers ecommerce leaders lucrative opportunities in the largest eCommerce market in Latin America1. Understanding how Brazilian consumers engage in digital commerce and how they prefer to pay is absolutely vital to capturing and growing business.
Online marketplaces, digital goods sellers and gig-economy platforms that want to grab their slice of the Brazilian market cannot rely on a one-size-fits-all approach to payments or disbursements. Cash and voucher payments are widely used here, and most online card purchases are made with local cards that aren’t authorized for cross-border purchases1.
Brazil at a Glance
- Population: 209.47 million1
- GDP per capita: $8,9211
- eCommerce market value: $23.8 billion2
- Mobile commerce market value: $7.6 billion2
- Percentage of population using the Internet: 67.47%1
- Percentage of adults with a mobile phone: 85%1
- Percentage of population with bank accounts: 70%1
- Percentage of population that uses credit cards: 27%1
Brazil eCommerce Trends
Cards and cash are the dominant way to pay for online goods in Brazil for the time being, but digital payment adoption is creating a massive opportunity for payment innovators. As more consumers gain access to smartphones the technology to pay through ewallets will be in their hands. Businesses must bridge the trust gap by providing secure checkout options and educating consumers on why digital payments are both convenient and safe.
- Credit Cards Remain Popular: Over half of all online purchases are made with credit cards2, but only 27% of the population currently uses them3. Additionally, most cards used for ecommerce are domestic-only, creating barriers to cross-border sales. Businesses need to partner with local payment processors to reduce cross-border sales obstacles and provide other payment methods to reach the majority of Brazilians.
- Cash and Vouchers Can’t Be Ignored: Roughly one-third of Brazil’s adult population does not have bank accounts — making cash a critical payment option4. Voucher systems, such as Boleto Bancario, are also popular because they allow unbanked consumers to participate in the digital economy1.
- eWallets and QR Codes Are on the Rise: The combination of a high unbanked population and growing smartphone penetration will drive a surge in ewallet and QR code use over the next few years. Rappi and MercadoLibre are two regional leaders driving this trend. A core component of Rappi’s strategy to grow adoption is to give more Brazilians access to digital payment capabilities. RappiPay offers a digital wallet for users to upload funds and to make payments using QR codes and prepaid cards. MercadoLibre launched its MercadoPago payment solution to give merchants and customers a way to make and receive payments on their online marketplace. MercadoPago has grown rapidly in popularity and is now used for payments at Brick and Mortar locations through mobile point of sale (mPOS) machines the company provides to small and medium-sized merchants in Brazil.
Brazil eCommerce Data1
- Annual ecommerce Revenue: $15,279 million
- Average ecommerce revenue per user: $119.69
- Percentage of ecommerce purchases that are cross-border: 44%
- Percentage of population making online purchases: 60.5%
- Projected ecommerce growth: 2.5% annually to 2023
Top Merchant Segments1
- Fashion: 34%
- Electronics & media: 27%
- Toys, hobby & DIY: 17%
- Furniture & appliances: 13%
- Food & personal care: 8%
Brazil’s Preferred Local Payment Methods
The size of the Brazilian market makes it attractive for ecommerce growth despite the recent economic uncertainty. Businesses that want to seize the eCommerce opportunities in Brazil will need to create trust by localizing the entire shopping experience, including meeting local expectations for languages and currency, optimizing the user experience for mobile devices and providing multiple preferred payment methods.
Online Purchases by Device2
- eCommerce purchase made on mobile devices: $7.6 billion
- Mobile commerce purchases made in a browser: $4.6 billion
- In-app mobile commerce purchases: $3 billion
Top Payment Methods in Brazil by Percent of Total Online Spending
2019 JP Morgan Global Payment Trends
Which of the Following Payment Methods Did You Use in the Past Three Months to Purchase Products or Services1?
Consumer Technographics Global Online Benchmark Survey, based on 2,043 online adults, 2019, Forrester Research, Inc.
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