Chile - Country Commercial Guide
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General Overview

eCommerce has experienced positive growth in Chile over the last decade due to Chile‚Äôs rapid and continuing technological infrastructure development, the launch of 5G service in December 2021, and the popularity of eCommerce since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Santiago Chamber of Commerce (CCS), in 2022, business-to-customer (B2C) eCommerce sales reached $10.5 billion, a 12.5 percent decrease compared to 2021. However, 2023 eCommerce sales are predicted to increase by 5 percent reaching $11 billion. The 2022 contraction was due to a combination of factors, such as the decline in consumer demand due to the decrease in income from government emergency subsidies and pension withdrawals, high inflation and interst rate hikes, and the return to mobility, which boosted purchases in physical stores, after the severe restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

In a study conducted by Statista, the number of eCommerce users in Chile in 2022 was 12.7 million and is expected to reach 13.7 million by 2027.

According to Statista, 64.8 percent of Chileans bought online during 2022, and this percent will continue to grow each year, reaching 69.4 percent by 2027, driven by a high internet penetration of 91 percent in 2022. The demographics of online shoppers are evenly divided between men and women, although the percentage of women is increasing slowly. The largest demographic using eCommerce is 26- to 40-year-olds (33%), followed by 41- to 55-year-olds (29%). Approximately 36 percent of buyers have a high household income, followed by low income (32%) and middle income (32%). The best-selling categories for online purchases in Chile are clothing (50%), shoes (41%), food and beverages (30%), cosmetics and body care (26%), and consumer electronics (25%).

Legal & Regulatory

Online retailers, as well as physical retailers, must comply with Law 19,496 on Protection of Consumer Rights. This law regulates the relations between suppliers and consumers, establishes infractions, and indicates the applicable procedures in these matters. Retailers also must comply with Law No. 19,628 on the Protection of Personal Data, which regulates the treatment of personal data by financial institutions, and by public and private organizations.

On June 1, 2020, Chile enacted a 19 percent VAT on digital services provided by foreign suppliers, which are required to register with the tax authority. In January 2021, Chile signed a Digital Economy Partnership Agreement with New Zealand and Singapore that creates a common framework for data protection, establishes common rules on digital trade and removes digital barriers for business.

On March 24, 2022, new eCommerce regulations were enacted. The regulations will strengthen the transparency and quality of the information delivered to consumers on eCommerce platforms, including the characteristics, essential benefits, price of products and services that are offered, and other relevant information to encourage informed decision-making and strengthen the right of consumer free choice.

The Santiago Chamber of Commerce has a Manual of Best Practices for eCommerce. This code serves as a guide to ethical behavior for eCommerce providers and operators for the benefit of consumers and users.

eCommerce Day (April 27, 2023) offered conferences and seminars for sellers to exchange ideas, share experiences, and best practices. The event was organized by the eCommerce Institute and the Santiago Chamber of Commerce.

Consumer Behavior

According to a study done by Statista, the leading categories in cross-border e-commerce in Chile during 2022 were clothing (57%), accessories and gifts (42%), technology (31%), and shoes (31%).

The top eCommerce platforms for cross-border purchases in 2022 were: AliExpress, Amazon, Wish, Shein, and eBay.

The main delivery methods used by online shoppers is home delivery with 84 percent followed by pick up at main store with 24 percent, according to Statista.

According to Americas Market Intelligence (AMI) the level of satisfaction of the Chilean customer is very high: 85 percent of e-commerce users rated their first online shopping experience as good or very good.

According to Statista, in 2022 the top five shopping apps (by number of downloads) were Shopee 3.3-Grand Fashion (3.9 million), Mercado Libre (3.9 million), Shein Fashion Shopping Online (3.5 million), Falabella Compra Online (3.4 million), and the Paris app (1.8 million). Regarding food delivery apps, the top five are PedidosYa Delivery Online (1.6 million), Spid Miles de Productos (1.1 million), Unimarc (1 million), Uber Eats Food Delivery (945,000), and Santa Isabel Te Conviene (915,000).

According to The Global Payments Report, in 2022, approximately 30 percent of online purchases in Chile were paid by credit cards, 29, percent by debit cards, 18 percent by digital wallets, and 15 percent was made by direct account-to-account transfers. At the same time, in 2022, Chilean customers mainly used mobile devices (58%) to connect, search, and buy, followed by desktops and laptops (42%).

Digital Marketing & Social Media

Digital marketing campaigns in Chile are done via e-mail marketing, social networking sites, search engine optimization (SEO), and banner advertising on search engines. Artificial intelligence and automated learning, interactive content, video marketing, social media advertising, chatbots and virtual assistants have trended in 2023.

CyberDay and CyberMonday are massive online shopping events, promoted by the eCommerce Committee of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce (CCS), which are increasingly gaining strength in the country, consolidating themselves as a fundamental instrument for the development of ecommerce in Chile.

CyberMonday, a three-day long event that starts on a Monday, was October 3-5, 2022, and generated $399 million, 10 percent less than 2021. CyberDay held in May 2023 generated $540 million, exceeding the expected amount of $400 million. In real terms, adjusting for the exchange rate and inflation, 2023 CyberMonday sales exceeded CyberMonday 2022 by 9 percent and CyberDay 2023 sales fell 4 percent compared to CyberDay 2022.

The eCommerce Innovation Summit will be held on October 19, 2023. The Summit is organized by the eCommerce Committee of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce and brings together new technologies, innovations, and trends in ecommerce.

For more information, please contact the U.S. Commercial Service Chile Commercial Specialist Macarena Marin.