Describes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and covers prominent B2B websites.
Electronic commerce (e-commerce) activity has grown tenfold since 2000 in peso terms. Argentina has over 37 million users of the internet, the third highest percentage in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico. According to the Argentine Chamber of Information and Communications (CICOMRA), in 2021 Argentina had 24.5 million urban households with access to computers and 78 percent to internet. Nine out of 10 people use a cell phone, and nine out of 10 use the internet. Network expansion is increasing the availability of WiFi connections in public and privately-owned spaces. The Argentine Chamber of Electronic Commerce (CACE) reports that 90 percent of connected Argentine adults (18.3 million people) have made online purchases at least once. E-commerce in Argentina experienced rapid growth of 124 percent in 2020 and positive performance extending through 2021, in part due to the extended quarantine imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seventy-eight percent of total sales were made by credit card.
Food and beauty products are the most popular products sold online in Argentina; however, higher revenue generating products include sound/image equipment, cellular phones, beverages, cleaning products, furniture, home goods, as well as tourism and travel services.
In 2021, one third of the Argentine companies selling online opened or rented a special warehouse for their digital sales and recruited personnel for their eCommerce department. More than half of these companies stated that their sales online represent 10% of all their revenues.
Additionally, online sales outside of greater Buenos Aires continue to grow, as the variety of available local products is more limited. Improved delivery services provide an important incentive for these sales. U.S. products and services are usually sold through the websites of local importers. Alternatively, popular e-commerce websites, include MercadoLibre and OLX are widely used, as are social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. In October 2020, Argentina´s official mail service, Correo Argentino, also launched a new online retail platform named “Correo Compras.”
With consumer preferences increasingly looking towards e-commerce for products and services, the sector in Argentina will continue to grow with players in the market likely to consolidate.
Argentina’s population and economic activity are highly concentrated in the greater Buenos Aires area. The population is largely of European descent and continues to have strong ethnic, cultural, and business ties with Europe. In some respects, Argentine consumer preferences resemble those of Europeans more than those of other Latin American countries.
The United States continues to be one of Argentina’s top trading partners. Many U.S. firms have been very successful in the market, and U.S. products have a strong reputation for quality and technological innovation. U.S. lifestyle and consumption habits are influential in Argentina.
Always have a local Spanish speaker, such as your agent or distributor, review any materials before using them in Argentina. Keep in mind that each Spanish-speaking country has its own unique dialect and slang. Also, any official document to be presented before the Argentine government that is not in Spanish requires an official translation into Spanish by a Sworn Public Translator (Traductor Público) be attached, as well as certification by the Translators Association.
Price and financing terms have become increasingly important selling factors. Some practical tips to successfully approach Argentine consumers are the following:
- Appoint a representative or distributor, and consult as appropriate with lawyers and accountants
- Have Spanish language capacity and furnish materials in Spanish
- Be consistent in attention to service and delivery, and engage in frequent visits and follow-up
- Provide credit terms
- Protect your intellectual property