Last updated: 29 April 2015
The segment of electronics represents a significant part of the revenue stream for e-commerce in Brazil. In this article we will look at the statistics for this sector and the most common practices adopted by online retailers.
Sales of Electronics in Brazil
Over the last few years, the Brazilian market for electronics has expanded exponentially, with consumers of all social classes and age groups displaying interest in the purchase of products such as smartphones, tablets, computers, televisions and digital cameras.
Factors such as tax incentives introduced by the country’s federal government to promote the consumption of this type of equipment and the installation of manufacturing plants for some of the world’s largest electronics companies in Brazilian territory have contributed to making these products more affordable and widely present on the country’s store shelves, whether of the physical or digital kind.
A study by market intelligence provider GFK covering the first two quarters of 2014 found that sales of TV sets increased 45% in Brazil. During the same period, sales of smartphones increased 74% and sales of tablets increased 48%.
The category of personal computers, however, saw a decrease of 26% in sales in the Brazilian market during 2014, according to a study by market analyst IDC. During that year, 10.3 units were sold in the country, of which portable computers accounted for 6 million.
Although a large quantity of electronics are sold in the country’s physical department stores and specialized retailers, an increasing number of Brazilians have adopted online sales channels when purchasing these products.
Some of the characteristics of e-commerce, like the ease to compare product specifications and prices, can be accounted as some of the main causes for the increase in sales of electronics through online retail in Brazil, as this category should remain one of the most profitable over the next few years.
E-commerce of Electronics
A study by credit scoring company SPC Brasil regarding statistics for the country’s e-commerce during the year 2014 highlighted some noteworthy aspects about the online sales of electronics.
Most popular category and average order value
The category of electronics was found to be the most popular out of a list of 22 product types sold online, with 61% of consumers claiming to have purchased at least one device during the analyzed period.
The research data indicates that all age groups and social classes of online shoppers display a high rate of consumption for these products, including lower classes who commonly pay for electronics in multiple installments. The average value for these orders was found to be BRL 781.
Although electronics are in some cases priced higher in Brazil when compared to other global markets, the majority of Brazilian consumers, or 88%, bought these products from national stores. Additionally, 17% of consumers purchased electronics through online classifieds marketplaces.
Mobile device accessories
Around 31% of online consumers bought accessories for smartphones and tablets, with an average cart value of BRL 164. The male audience and upper class segments were responsible for most purchases in this product category.
The largest online department stores and electronics retailers in Brazil adopt a number of common practices when selling these devices.
Many online retailers in Brazil offer extended warranties when selling electronics, likely due to the overall high prices of these devices and the public's apprehension towards the chance of having these products damaged in any way. In total, the segment of extended warranties in Brazil was sized at BRL 2,9 billion in 2013. The price for these warranties varies between stores, being commonly placed at close to 10% of the product’s price per year of coverage.
Another common practice by Brazilian online stores is the bundling of electronics with accessories that range from wireless charges to earphones for mobile devices to additional 3D glasses and surround sound sets for TV’s. Also, product pages usually display a list of compatible accessories as a way to incentivise consumers to include multiple products in a single purchase.