Here is a quick, high level look at what is happening online in Brazil.
1. Internet Penetration
Approximately 66% of Brazil’s population accessed the internet in 2017, which is 139 million people. This number is the same as 2016. While internet and social media usage have heavy penetration in the country, growth has stalled. Of the population that does access the internet, 90% do so daily and they spend an average of 26 hours a week online. This is the highest in Latin America.
2. Top Search Engines
The leading search engine is Google with a 97% usage rate. Bing and Yahoo! are the only other search engines that register above 1%.
3. Mobile Usage
Brazil has a heavy penetration for mobile phone use, ranking 4th globally. The penetration rate is 138%, well above the global market average of 115%. Smartphones make up the large majority of the mobile phones used in Brazil.
Ecommerce is alive and well in Brazil, even during the recent economic downturn ecommerce still grew and is projected to further expand in 2018. Ecommerce grew by 11.5% in 2017 and it is projected that 2018 will see a 10% growth rate.
Consumers in Brazil have certainly become accustomed to ecommerce, but the issues that stifle growth are high taxes and logistics challenges within the country.
52% of consumers in Brazil use the internet for their shopping research before buying. Global companies should take note of this as companies that want to succeed in B2C in Brazil should have a localized website and address global SEO to support Google searches and research being performed on products and services.
Nathan Lustig wrote a wonderful article that describes a key payment issue for ecommerce sites that are not local to Brazil. Consumers in Brazil are charged an additional tax of 6.38% when buying from a site outside of Brazil.
He points out that 90% of online shoppers in Brazil do not have credit cards. The most popular form of payment for online purchases is via bank slips.
It is important to understand the challenges in other markets to take advantage of the opportunities. In the case of Brazil, it possesses a great opportunity for companies to succeed in ecommerce, but you must understand how Brazilians prefer to make payments, where they like to shop online and have a localized website.