In Payments

Our 2020 Major Markets Forecast for Latin America highlighted a number of bright spots in Brazil’s economy despite the challenges and President Bolsonaro’s polarizing effect on the population.

While we didn’t specifically mention e-commerce in that presentation because of a focus on broader sectors, it certainly is one of the key bright spots this year and in 2020.

Market Overview

According to the Ebit/Nielsen report Webshoppers (40th edition), e-commerce sales increased by 12% in Brazil during the first half of 2019 for a total of R$26B or US$6.2 billion. More than 65 million e-commerce orders were made during the first half of 2019 in Brazil, a 20% increase compared to 2018.

In 2018, ebit reported that total sales via e-commerce in Brazil were R$133 billion or US$32 billion, an 18% increase compared to 2017. Ebit projects sales of R$61 billion or US$14.6 billion in B2C e-commerce sales for Brazil, which excludes marketplace sales of used products, travel and event tickets.

At Americas Market Intelligence (AMI), we use a different methodology than ebit/Nielsen to calculate market size, working in all merchant verticals, PC, mobile and in-app purchases, crossborder e-commerce transactions using a locally issued card and all card-not-present transactions, such as recurring payments. As such, AMI analysis indicates that in 2018, the e-commerce market in Brazil produced more than US$36 billion in sales.


According to AMI analysis, the e-commerce market in Brazil will grow by 99% between 2018 and 2022 to reach US$65 billion.

Best-Selling E-Commerce in Brazil

According to ebit, the top 10 products purchased via e-commerce in Brazil in 2018 (in terms of orders) were:

  1. Perfumes, cosmetics and health products
  2. Clothes and accessories
  3. Home décor
  4. Appliances
  5. Books and subscriptions
  6. Phones
  7. Sporting goods
  8. Computer products
  9. Foods and beverages
  10. Electronics

In terms of overall sales volume in 2018 e-commerce in Brazil, a different order for top products emerges as per ebit data:

  1. Appliances
  2. Mobile phones and accessories
  3. Home décor
  4. Computer products
  5. Electronics
  6. Perumes, cosmetics and health products
  7. Clothes and accessories
  8. Sporting goods
  9. Auto accessories
  10. Foods and beverages

In the first half of 2019, ebit indicates that the top products purchased via e-commerce in Brazil were:

  1. Clothes and accessories
  2. Perfumes, cosmetics and health products
  3. Foods and beverages
  4. Car accessories
  5. Toys and games
  6. Pet products
  7. Jewelry and watches
  8. Office furniture

Top Payment Methods Used in E-Commerce in Brazil

According to ebit, in mid-2019 the most common payment methods used for e-commerce shopping in Brazil were:

  • Credit card (67%)
  • Cash voucher, i.e. boleto bancário (19%)
  • Credit card from a retailer (6%)
  • Other methods (8%)

AMI uses a different methodology for this analysis, so as per AMI the most common payment methods used for e-commerce shopping in Brazil are:

  • Credit cards (60%)
  • Cash voucher, i.e. boleto bancário (17%)
  • Digital wallets (14%)
  • Debit card (3%)
  • Bank transfers (3%)
  • Other methods (3%)

Devices Used for E-Commerce Purchases in Brazil

Ebit’s data indicates that mobile devices were used for 42.7% of e-commerce orders in Brazil in January 2019 and that mobile accounted for 43.1% of orders in June 2019.

However, ebit’s data doesn’t seem to break down the total of mobile vs. desktop purchases for all of 2018 or the first half of 2019.

AMI analysis indicates the following breakdown of devices for e-commerce purchases in Brazil:

  • 57% of e-commerce purchases in Brazil are made with a desktop
  • 43% of e-commerce purchases in Brazil are made with mobile devices

By 2022 the percentages will shift, according to AMI projections:

  • 45% of e-commerce purchases in Brazil in 2022 will be made with a desktop
  • 55% of e-commerce purchases in Brazil in 2022 will be made with mobile devices

Customer Insights

According to e-bit data, some key factors to consider with Brazilian e-commerce shoppers include:

  • 54% purchase products with just one payment, while 46% prefer installment payments
  • Women make up the plurality of e-commerce customers in Brazil, with 52.3%
    The average Brazilian e-commerce shopper is 42 years old
  • The largest age group among Brazilian e-commerce shoppers is 35-49 (37%), followed by 50+ (29%), 25-34 (24%) and under age 24 (9%)
  • Overall, 66% of Brazilian e-commerce shoppers are over 35
  • Free shipping plays a significant role in online shopping: 50% of Brazilians say that free shipping will make them willing to buy
  • Guaranteed refunds will make 56% of Brazilian customers disposed to buy online
  • 47% of Brazilians report engaging in cross-border e-commerce, while 53% shop only from Brazilian sites—this is a decrease compared to 2015 and 2016, when more than 50% of Brazilian shoppers said they did cross-border e-commerce shopping
  • In 2018 the average spend, amount of orders and average ticket of cross-border transactions all dropped in Brazil
  • The top-selling cross-border sites from Brazilian e-commerce consumers in 2018 were Aliexpress, Wish, Amazon, Ebay and Banggood

Other Factors to Consider

AMI analysis offers other important data points to consider with regard to Brazilian e-commerce shopping:

  • The sales of digital goods in Brazil are growing 3 times faster than the retail market
  • Debit cards are the fastest-growing payment method for e-commerce purchases in Brazil: 19% per year growth
  • Technology issues are likely holding back the growth of e-commerce in Brazil: Brazilian Internet is 3 times slower than the global average and 4 out of 10 Brazilians say their connection is too unstable for e-commerce
  • 60% of e-commerce purchases made in Brazil are done with installments (a higher figure than reported by Ebit/Nielsen)

Going Further

#1 To learn more about Brazilian e-shopping, recent AMI research may be helpful. Click here to obtain a report on digital consumers in Brazil.

#2 Our 2019 E-Commerce Datapack contains extensive data on Brazil. Click here to find out how to order a copy.

#3 For more specific data, AMI specializes in research and market intelligence for the Brazil and LatAm e-commerce markets in a number of key areas:

  • Identifying the major payment methods used in Brazil’s e-commerce markets to help merchants with strategic planning, market entry and market expansion
  • Helping merchants understand the cross-border e-commerce potential in Brazil and the practices that can increase cross-border sales
  • Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help e-commerce merchants focused on Brazil to analyze their customer data for a deeper understanding of e-commerce shopper behavior and tendencies so as to refine their marketing tactics, messaging and consumer outreach

Contact us

if your company has specific data, market research or market intelligence needs regarding the e-commerce market in Latin America or in specific markets such as Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Peru.

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