Last updated: 9 April 2015
E-commerce customers in Brazil have preferences for product shipping that must be taken into consideration by sellers and couriers. In this article we will highlight the perspective of Brazilians towards e-commerce product shipping and list some of the largest couriers in the country.
Consumer Perspective towards Product Shipping
Recent studies show that Brazilian e-commerce consumers have perceptions towards shipping times and prices that may differ from what is found in other countries. The Webshoppers report from June 2013 by market intelligence provider E-bit revealed that delivery speed was a relevant factor for only 20% of online shoppers, while prices were relevant for 59% of shoppers.
Lots of research points to the sensibility of Brazilian consumers towards delivery price in opposition to delivery speed. To companies that operate in the country, enabling low cost and free shipping options must be taken into consideration when setting up a business strategy, in order to cater for consumers expectations.
The option for free shipping is considered one of the main reasons for Brazilians to choose which online stores to make purchases from. A study from 2014 by credit scoring company SPC Brasil found that 39% of online shoppers in the country considered the availability of free shipping as a relevant factor for purchase decisions.
The predominant preference for free delivery led a great part of Brazilian online stores to offer free shipping, as other studies suggest. According to E-bit, 43% of e-commerce purchases made in December 2014 did not charge shipping, while previous months displayed similar ratios.
Although widely available, free shipping options can, in many cases, be subject to conditions like delivery location, the price of the order and select products. These conditions are established as a way for stores to enable a delivery plan that satisfies the majority of its audience without considerably cutting into profit margins.
An example of conditions for free shipping are the location of the customers. States like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are where buyers are most commonly offered free shipping options, as e-commerce companies take into consideration the large number of customers and the proximity to distribution centers.
Express and Same-day deliveries
Faster and more expensive delivery methods are also provided by e-commerce websites in Brazil. The worldwide trend for same-day deliveries is currently limited to specialized retailers of products such as food, supermarket items and flowers.
Additionally, large e-commerce websites like Saraiva, Extra and Americanas have been experimenting with offering same day delivery options. Their pioneering efforts, however, are limited to a selection of products and to deliveries in the metropolitan area of São Paulo, the most populated region of the country and also where most of the distribution centers are located. The average charge for same day delivery per order is relatively low, at around BRL 13,00.
Most commonly used shipping methods by Brazilian E-commerce
Research from 2014 by Sebrae, or the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Services, found that 87% of e-commerce websites made use of Correios, the national post office, for product deliveries, while 36% made use of couriers, 14,8% hired motorcycle couriers and 12,5% had their own transportation fleet . The preference is mostly related to the price charged by each service and its availability to transport different kinds of cargo.
The predominant preference for Correios delivery can be related to factors such as the relatively low price of the service, the confidence the organization fosters in customers and the wide reach for their transportation services, which are able to cover the most remote regions in Brazil.
The delivery modules from Correios include:
- PAC: This economy option which covers the entire Brazilian territory, has a 50 Kg weight limit for deliveries in the same state and 30 Kg limit for interstate shipping with expected delivery times between 4 and 15 days
- Sedex: Relatively quick delivery method which covers the entire Brazilian territory, with a weight limit of 30 Kg and delivery time between 2 and 6 days
- E-Sedex: Exclusive delivery service and optimized to online stores, which has a 15 Kg weight limit, requires a contract with Correios and covers 205 cities in the country, with expected delivery times between 2 and 6 days
- Sedex 10: Delivery service which guarantees that deliveries will reach customers before 10 AM the following day, with a weight limit of 10 Kg per package and coverage of 146 cities
- Sedex Hoje: Same-day delivery method which allows packages posted before 11 AM to reach recipients before 6 PM the same day, with a weight limit of 10 Kg and available in 126 Brazilian cities
Although Correios services have a wide reach and are cost effective, there are some limitations to what type of cargo can be shipped. For example, packages cannot have any dimension higher than 105 cm, and all dimensions combined must not exceed 200 cm. There are also restrictions for products that may cause injuries, like firearms, explosives and blades, and also for currencies, organic materials like plants and animal parts and cigarettes.
Private transportation companies can attend to e-commerce websites that ship products with larger dimensions or weight than what is permitted by Correios, while offering a wide range of delivery modules with speed, coverage and price conditions that might interest product sellers. Some of the largest couriers in Brazil include:
- Total Express
- TNT Express
- Atlas Transportes e Logística
The service of motoboys, or courriers that make use of motorcycles, is particularly useful for deliveries in metropolitan areas that require agility. There are a number of services and apps used for hiring these transporters, including:
- Easy Deliver
- 99 Motos
- Vai Moto
Regulation for E-commerce Shipping
The laws in a number of Brazilian states establish rules to the offering of shipping options, most notably requiring product sellers to enable customers to choose the date and time their delivery should be received. According to this regulation, customers in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mato Grosso do Sul and Minas Gerais must be allowed to choose the date and period of the day to receive deliveries.