M-Commerce in Brazil

Purchases made on mobile devices have increased in Brazil over the last few years, and are expected to become an important part of e-commerce in the future. In this article we will look at the current statistics for m-commerce in Brazil and what customers expect from this type of purchase method.

Market for M-Commerce in Brazil and Customer Profile

Brazilian e-commerce displayed a growth-rate of 24% in 2014, mostly driven by the introduction of customers to purchase online via PC’s. Even though purchases on mobile devices have not traditionally been an adopted method by Brazilian customers, the surge in sales of smartphones and tablets in Brazil and the expansion of broadband connections over the last few years, along with the increased usability of e-commerce websites on these devices have greatly expanded the potential for m-commerce in the country.

According to market intelligence provider E-bit, purchases made through mobile devices generated BRL 1,31 billion in the first half of 2014 and represented 7% of all e-commerce sales in Brazil in Q2/2014, a considerable growth when compared to the 3.6% of participation in Q2/2013. E-bit’s research for the Webshoppers 30 report presents interesting findings of the m-commerce sector in Brazil, including what the profiles of m-commerce customers are and the most popular product categories purchased from mobile devices.

Consumer Profile

According to E-bit research, close to 70% of m-commerce customers were aged between 25 to 49, while 64% belonged to the upper A and B social classes. In the case of store websites, six out of ten m-commerce purchases originated from tablets.

Product Categories

E-bit research also points out to some product categories preferred by m-commerce consumers. Fashion, healthcare and cosmetic products represented around 17% of purchases made through mobile devices in the first half of 2014, followed by domestic appliances with 11.1% and books/magazines with 8.8%. The sectors with the highest rate of m-commerce transactions were found to be food and drink, with 8.9% participation followed by collectibles and pet accessories, both with 6,4% participation.

Adaptation to M-commerce by Brazilian Online Stores

The m-commerce trend led many of the largest online retailers in Brazil to format their store pages to properly fit the screens of mobile devices, keeping text readable and menus accessible. Another commonly employed strategy to reach consumers through mobile devices is to offer store apps, from which customers are able to browse, buy products, share product offers and track product deliveries.

Some of the largest Brazilian stores offering m-commerce apps are:

Brazilian Customers Perception Towards M-commerce

Even if purchases made through mobile devices in Brazil have been increasing lately, some aspects of this type of e-commerce and the perception displayed by the country’s consumer audience may present challenges to the expansion of m-commerce in the future. Pagtel’s study presents some of the most liked and disliked characteristics of m-commerce by Brazilian customers, and what are the causes for apprehension when dealing with these purchases.

Their research indicates that convenience and advertising influence consumers from the device itself or external advertisements were the main reasons for these customers to make purchases on smartphones and tablets. Interestingly, only 26% of these customers claimed that the usage of purchase and payment apps were the main reason to buy using mobile devices, while only 11% claimed that this purchase method was safer than shopping using PC’s or at physical stores.

Additionally, the main reasons for consumers not to make purchases on tablets and smartphones were found to be the preference to buy using PC’s, the perception that the purchase would not be safe and the commerce websites being poorly configured to format mobile device screens. Another 7% of surveyed users claimed that store limitation towards credit card payments was a decisive factor to not make purchases.

These survey results, along with the general perception of the Brazilian market and infrastructure can serve as a basis to understand what customers in Brazil expect and want from m-commerce stores, for example:

  • Store sites properly formatted to fit mobile device screens
  • Security certificates that foster trust to consumers
  • Offering multiple types of payment methods, such as Boleto Bancario
  • Reducing the size of apps and websites, considering the limitations of Brazilian mobile networks and storage on mobile devices

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