*This article was translated from Portuguese. To read the original version, click here.
Christmas is one of the most profitable times for ecommerce in Latin America. In Brazil alone, online sales during the date last year reached BRL 8 billion (something around USD 2 billion*).
Sales in Latin America during Christmas
To understand Latin American consumer habits during Christmas, Deloitte conducted a survey with six countries: Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and Peru.
The study indicated that 28% of Latin American shoppers already shop in online stores for the date, while 31% use the tool to compare prices and find the product cheaper. Their preferred websites to shop from were low-priced stores, stores that offered discounts, and electronic and computer stores.
In relation to the date of the purchase, the majority shopped in the second week of December (20%), followed by a week before Christmas (19%), the first week of December (19%) and during Black Friday (15%).
In addition, most Latin American shoppers purchase more than one gift for the date, 30% of which buying 1 to 3 gifts, 26% 4 to 5, 13% 6 to 7, and 11% 8 to 10 gifts.
Finally, 60% use social networks to have ideas of what to buy, 57% take advantage of the tool to compare prices and 52% seek in this media recommendations and evaluations about the product they wish to acquire.
Despite the unified research, the consumer market in Latin America may be quite different from one region to another. Therefore, we have separated some data on the performance of Christmas sales according to the country.
Christmas is one of the most important and profitable dates for commerce, whether physical or online. According to data from the Brazilian Electronic Commerce Association (ABComm), sales in ecommerce grew by 12% in 2017 compared to the same period of the previous year.
The virtual stores had an average of 27 million orders during the period, desktop, mobile, electronics, fashion, and home being the most sought and accessed categories. Serasa Experian noted that Brazil had a 5.6% increase in sales during the week of December 18 to 24, 2017. This was the first positive result since 2014 when the country started to face an economic crisis.
The National Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism of Chile (CNC) reported that sales in the country in December 2017 increased 5% over the same period of 2016.
The most popular categories were electronics (17%) and fashion (16%).
This increase in ecommerce is largely due to more aggressive marketing strategies, such as a vast range of promotions and high investment in advertising.
Another highlight is that ecommerce was used by3% of Chileans to buy their Christmas gifts. Traditionally, the month of December has always been heating up in the Chilean commercial market as it represents about 12% of all sales of the year.
Even with the economic crisis, Argentina had a small sales growth during last year’s Christmas. According to the Confederación Argentina de la Mediana Empresa (CAME), the country had an increase of 0.8% in the Christmas of 2017 compared to the same time in the previous year.
Unlike other countries in which the population usually buys their gifts at the beginning of the month, most Argentinians went shopping two days before Christmas in 2017. The average amount spent was 660 pesos (something around USD 17*).
According to the entity, this postponing in buying happens mostly because stores don’t offer promotions or interest-free installments.
During a conference organized by the Peruvian Marketing Society, experts pointed out that about 33% of Peruvians usually buy their Christmas presents a day earlier.
Another important factor highlighted by the professionals was the need for a digital marketing strategy since 2 out of 3 Peruvians are connected to the internet on a daily basis.
The residents of Peru have an average expenditure of 485 pesos during the date, with the most purchased categories being clothing (46%), shoes (45%) and toys and accessories, each with 44%.
Fenalco Colombia (Federación Nacional de Comerciantes) conducted a study to understand how Colombians buy during Christmas. According to the survey, a good part of the residents did not leave their purchases for the last hour, with 28% choosing gifts in November and 26% in the second week of December.
To make purchases, Colombians preferred to pay in cash (36%), followed by credit card (28%) and debit card (24%). The average cost of gifts was 600,000 Colombian pesos (35%), then between 400,000 and 600,000 (27%), between 200,000 and 400,000 (25%) and, finally, up to 200,000 (11%) .
Christmas is one of the favorite times of Mexican merchants, who see their sales numbers soar during seasonality. According to information collected and released by Nielsen, the spending of a consumer in Mexico raises an average of 25% during the year-end.
This growth in the number of purchases positively impacts physical and online commerce. In recent years, e-commerce has seen an amazing growth in Mexico. Currently, 6 out of 10 Mexican consumers make their purchases through both virtual and physical stores. Moreover, he percentage of users who buy online at least once a week has increased from 19 to 27%.
Still talking about the research carried out by Nielsen, it is possible to observe the three categories that most profit during the Christmas season in Mexico: toys, pharmacy, and wines. Remember that in pharmacies you can buy some products, such as makeup and other types of cosmetics.
Another sector that has had a booming growth in recent years on Mexican soil was that of video games. To get an idea, in 2017, the country collected an estimated value of 24.771 billion pesos. An increase of 8.4% compared to the same period in the previous year. Most impressive is that more than half of these sales happen in two very specific seasons: El Buen Fin and Christmas.
Strategies to Sell More at Christmas
As a first step, study the plurality of Latin America better. Study well the region you want to invest in and understand how the culture is and what the consumption habits of its inhabitants are. With this research, it is possible to carry out a targeted marketing strategy with a greater chance of success.
To be able to communicate with this new audience, improve your customer services team and personalized fully-translated website. Apart from Brazil, all other Latin American have Spanish as their official language, making your translation job easier. Besides language, it is also interesting that the customer can see the prices in their local currency.
In addition to their differences in consumption habits and culture, the Latin American public is also divergent in choosing their method of payment. Therefore, providing a local payment method will ensure your e-commerce a competitive position within the new market.
Finally, it is crucial to choose an efficient logistics system to start selling in new countries. When we talk about Christmas, the responsibility increases considerably. Because it is an emotional date, if the customer does not receive the product before the celebration, it may end up directly affecting their trust with the brand.
Christmas is one of the seasonal dates with the biggest impact on the number of sales. Unlike other celebratory days, such as children’s day, where the best-selling categories are quite limited, Christmas has a considerable increase in all sectors. Understand thoroughly the behavior of the Latin American market in which you will act and ensure that your site will be adapted so that the user has the best possible experience with your brand right away.
So, this is the formula for success for international ecommerce stores that want to sell to Brazil during the date. Here are some articles that might help you out on your expansion journey.