The Latin American economy has had its share of ups and downs in recent years, but things are gradually trending upward. These improvements, of course, are tied to rapid changes in how LatAm consumers make purchasing decisions, and manufacturers and retailers need to innovate to stay atop these trends. Here’s what the recent research shows about the current climate among Latin American consumers.
#1 LatAm Consumers Are Interested in Health
Healthy, sustainable, environmentally friendly: If you’re looking to appeal to today’s LatAm consumer, then these are a few of the boxes that your products will need to check in order to see increasing sales. Data from 14,000 consumers as part of the Edelman Earned Brand Study showed that 61 percent of Brazilians and 62 percent of Mexicans believed that brands could do more to solve social problems than their country’s governments. This shows that LatAm consumers have strong interest in companies that are trying to make a positive impact.
#2 LatAm Wants Brands They Can Trust
Perhaps hand in hand with the previous concept is the idea that LatAm customers seek brands they can trust. Recent data from more than 4,000 consumers in LatAm countries show that they trust food and drink manufacturers the most, and financial and telecommunications industries the least. Pharmacy and retail are other sectors with strong trust among LatAm consumers. Retailers who want to build sustainable relationships with their customers well into the future will need to focus on either sustaining or rebuilding this trust.
#3 Online and Mobile Keep Gaining Ground
Perhaps the least surprising trend among LatAm consumers is the continuing rise of online and mobile methods of selling products. Recent data from Facebook, for example, indicated that 84 percent of Mexicans, 63 percent of Argentines and 60 percent of Brazilians made holiday shopping choices based on what they found on Facebook.
What’s more, mobile is gradually gaining on desktop computers throughout the region. In Peru 46 percent of people make purchases on their phones versus 53 percent by computer. In Colombia, 40 percent use their phones and 60 percent use the computer. Expect these numbers to continue to skew toward mobile in the years ahead.
One thing that is driving the rise in mobile sales is companies devoting more time to creating custom mobile interfaces for their customers. Rather than taking a computer website and viewing it on their phone, companies are making dedicated apps that greatly improve the mobile searching and buying experience. The result is an increasing comfort with searching and buying products and services via mobile instead of the traditional desktop computer.
#4 LatAm Likes “Big Brands”
While many things are changing in Latin America, the loyalty to big, global brands in many product categories remains quite strong. For example, in categories such as sodas, vitamins, supplements, baby products and feminine hygiene products, only 9 to 14 percent of Latin Americans would choose a local product over a major brand. However, many food products skewed strongly local, including snacks, coffee, tea, juice and water.
#5 LatAm Is Growing Comfortable with New Tech
If you still think of Latin America as lagging behind the rest of the world in their adoption of new technology, then it’s time to change that line of thinking. As it turns out, many countries in Latin America are embracing new technology at a higher rate than other countries. For example, Latin American users spend an average of 7.5 hours online each day, compared to 5 hours around the world. In addition, they do 16.3 different activities online each week, compared to 12.9 globally. What’s more, consumers in countries such as Brazil, Chile and Colombia are showing increasing confidence in making mobile payments. So if you want to reach Latin America consumers, then increasingly embracing new technologies is the answer.
#6 LatAm Wants It to Be Easy
Remove the barriers standing between your customers and their purchases, and your Latin American consumers will be happy. Those are the findings of a recent global report, which found that Latin American consumers are looking for products that are convenient to use and make life easier. Some examples of products that can fill this role for Latin American consumers include ready-made meals, home delivery of goods and services, mobile payments, self-checkout machines and more.
Contact us if you’re looking for a deeper understanding of Latin American consumers, competitive intelligence on brands that are going after your market share, potential disrupters in your industry to watch out for and more.