Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America and continues to experience rapid e-commerce growth of 14.3% and should exceed US$200 billion by 2026.
Brazilian shoppers have embraced the convenience and special promotions often offered through e-commerce, creating opportunities for online stores to explore new possibilities for customer loyalty and attraction. For example, 67% of Brazilian shoppers reported that they search for products on Instagram, 51% on YouTube, 37% on Facebook and 13% on TikTok. Additionally, 41% reported buying products recommended by digital influencers in 2022.
The self-service segment (entertainment, tourism, durables, non-durables, and perishables) registered the highest growth in number of total orders and gross revenue. However, electronics remain the most popular e-commerce segment, in terms of sales followed by fashion, shoes, and health, cosmetics, and wellness products.
Much of this growth is attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic as the Brazilian government issued pandemic relief via digital wallets, providing millions of Brazilians with access to online retailers for the first time. The Southeast region, where São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are located, has the most sales in Brazil. This region accounts for 51% of the e-commerce market growth.
Motivation Reported Among Brazilian Consumers
Brazilians reported four main reasons for shopping via e-commerce:
• 77% - Best Price
• 57% - Delivery Time
• 54% - Diversity of products
• 39% - Special promotions (free shipping, discounts, loyalty program, cashback, etc.)
The top 4 e-commerce companies in Brazil are:
1. Mercado Livre
4. Magazine Luiza
In early 2022, Mercado Livre – the Brazilian operation of Argentine e-commerce giant Mercado Libre – was the most visited e-commerce website in Brazil. Americanas.com, formerly controlled by B2W Digital company before the firm merged with Americanas S.A. in July 2021, ranked second, while the Brazilian operation of OLX placed third. After these ranked Magazine Luiza, a traditional retailer founded in the countryside of the state of São Paulo in the late 1950s. In terms of gross revenue, Magazine Luiza actually had the largest online gross revenue among retailers in Brazil in 2021, and online sales accounted for more than 70% of Magazine Luiza’s total retail sales.
Despite continued growth, the e-commerce market in Brazil can be difficult for U.S. companies to navigate without a local presence due to challenges involving customs, taxes, shipping, customer service needs, processing returns, and processing payments for cross-border sales. Sellers also need to be aware of local consumer laws that apply to any purchase completed in Brazil.
U.S. business to customer (B2C) firms targeting consumers online from outside Brazil should plan strategically. Brazil is a price sensitive market with high import tariffs and taxes. Direct sales from foreign countries, including the United States, are subject to customs duties and regulations. Although Brazil has made substantial progress in reducing traditional trade barriers (tariffs, import licensing, etc.), rates in many areas remain high and favor locally produce products. This demand is further skewed by limited tariff and tax enforcement on local products.
Receita Federal, Brazil’s tax authority, launched “Remessa Conforme,” an initiative to simplify customs processes related to international e-commerce and facilitate easier tax compliance to the benefit of both companies and consumers.
To take advantage of this program, e-commerce companies must first register with the Receita Federal by providing information about the company and the products sold. After registration, companies will then:
Declare Shipments: When making shipments of products to Brazil, company submits a description of the products, value, quantities, recipients, and other pertinent information online. Leverage backend analysis: The system carries out automatic analysis of the information provided.Receive Automated Release and Tracking: Shipments that appear to meet all regulations are released automatically and quickly, and companies can track the status of shipments through the online system.
Note: Receita Federal reserves the right to conduct audits or subsequent checks to ensure compliance with all regulations.
Brazilian consumers expect the flexibility to pay in no-interest installments for high-value e-commerce purchases. U.S. vendors should be aware of this expectation when selling to consumers in the Brazilian market.
PIX is an instant payment platform, similar to the U.S. Venmo application, created and managed by the monetary authority of Brazil, the Central Bank of Brazil (BCB), which enables the quick execution of payments and transfers. It is now the most used payment method in Brazil. The main advantages of PIX are its full-time availability, the speed of transactions, low-cost functionality, convenience, open environment, and safety.
Cybersecurity continues to be a concern of Brazilian consumers, particularly regarding online fraud. E-commerce platform hosts and online retailers should invest in data security and fraud prevention technologies highlighting their use to make consumers feel more secure.
Most Brazilians do not carry international credit cards, so international transactions can be challenging for both residents and visitors. While visitors have relatively few problems using credit cards at hotels and tourist venues, the same is not true for online purchases. Those wishing to pay for services such as food delivery, domestic flights, or movie tickets online often encounter barriers, as many Brazilian websites do not accommodate international credit cards. The most accepted cards in Brazil are Visa and MasterCard with chip and PIN technologies adopted to avoid misuse of physical cards.
Major Buying Holidays
Brazil has five holidays with high retail sales:
Christmas (December 25th)Mother’s Day (the second Sunday in May)Valentine’s Day (June 12th) Father’s Day (the second Sunday in August) Easter
There are also five other major seasonal dates with boosted sales:
Children’s Day (October 12th)Consumer’s Day (March 15th)Black Friday (Friday after Thanksgiving)Cyber Monday (Monday after Thanksgiving)
For more information, please contact Denise Barbosa, E-Commerce Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service Brazil at Denise.Barbosa@trade.gov