In Consumer and Retail

Chile started off 2021 with strong retail sales figures, suggesting recovery was well underway. According to the Cámara de Comercio de Santiago (Santiago Chamber of Commerce) and the Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas (National Institute of Statistics or INE), retail sales in Chile went up by 27% during January-May of 2021, with retail sales increasing the most in May (by 72%). Most recently, retail sales in Chile went up by 33.5% in August 2021. This suggests that the growth projected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) of 6.7% growth for Chile’s GDP in 2021 will be borne out.   


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Within this overall growth, more recent data shows which specific products are growing the fastest in sales. Here’s a look at Chile’s top retail sellers.

#1 New and Used Autos

Unlike Argentina, whose auto market sales are down compared to prepandemic figures, Chile has seen its auto market come back to previous levels. Let’s take a look what’s happening:

  • New car sales in Chile went up by 295% in June 2021 vs. June 2020 to reach a total of 35,000 units, according to the la Asociación Nacional Automotriz de Chile (National Auto Association of Chile or ANAC)
  • It’s projected that new car sales in Chile will increase by 46.8% in 2021 and post a total of 380,000 units sold
  • SUVs lead in sales (99.5% increase in Jan-Jun 2021 vs. Jan-Jun 2020), followed by comercial vehicles (77%), pickup trucks (65%) and passenger vehicles (51%)

In addition, the Cámara Nacional de Comercio Automotriz (National Chamber of Automotive Commerce) projects a 97% sales increase for used cars in Chile vs. 2020.


#2 Motorcycles

Motorcyle sales in Chile went up by 110% in the first half of 2021, a record. The July 2021 report from the Asociación Nacional de Importadortes de Motocicletas (National Association of Motorcycle Importers) indicated that “motorcycle sales broke an unpublished record with 30,388 units sold between January and July 2021. Urban motorcycles led the market with 90% of sales.” With more than 5,900 units sold, July 2021 was the best month in Chile for motorcycle sales since 2008.

The favorite motorcycle brands among Chileans are Honda (25% market share), Yamaha (20.9%) and Bajaj (8.8%).


#3 Cosmetics

Sales of cosmetics went up by 34.1% in Chile during the first half of 2021, according to the Cámara Cosmética de Chile (Cosmetics Chamber of Chile). The cosmetics products most purchased by Chileans include fragrances (whose sales increased by 67% in the first half of 2021 vs. the first half of 2020), skincare products (54% sales increase), makeup (38% sales increase), haircare products (27% sales increase) and hygiene products (15% sales increase).


#4 Smartphones

IDC projects moderate growth of 18% in smartphone sales for Chile during 2021, which translates into sales of nearly 9 million units. Strategy Analytics recently published a report detailing the smartphone market leaders in Chile:

  • Samsung, with a 42% market share of Chile’s mobile phone market
  • Lenovo-Motorola, with a 17% market share of Chile’s mobile phone market
  • Xiaomi, with a 15% market share of Chile’s mobile phone market

It’s interesting to note the growing popularity of Xiaomi, which posted 1,025% growth in mobile phone shipments to Chile during Q1 2021 vs. Q1 2020. Strategy Analytics’ report indicates that if this trend persists, Xiaomi could become #2 in market share of the Chilean mobile phone market as early as the end of 2021.


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Next Steps

Contact us if you’re interested in further market research about the consumer market in Chile or other countries. Over the past 30 years we’ve conducted more than 600 consumer market research studies for Latin America. These include market landscape studies, opportunity benchmarking, competitive intelligence and more.

You may also want to explore our other stories on top-selling products in Latin America overall in 2021, as well as 2021’s best-selling products in markets such as Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia.

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