In Payments

Chile has been one of the countries with the greatest potential to bounce back from the economic crisis caused by COVID-19., due to its vaccination program and strong demand for its exports, according to AMI analysis. The country’s Central Bank has recently forecasted overall GDP growth of 11.5% in 2021 for the country, and we have already seen growth with consumer purchases in different categories.

In addition, as is occurring in a number of Latin American countries, e-commerce remains a bright spot in the Chilean economy.


The LatAm E-Commerce Datapack, 2020-2024

The LatAm E-Commerce Datapack, 2020-2024

Strategic data on market volumes, purchase habits, payment methods, demand drivers and more for 11 countries


Market Overview

According to the Cámara de Comercio de Santiago (Santiago Chamber of Commerce or CCS in Spanish), the e-commerce market in Chile grew by 55% in 2020; in terms of e-commerce growth, it was second in LatAm after Argentina (79% growth) and ahead of Brazil (35% growth). Another report from the CCS stated that retail e-commerce in Chile reached US$9.42 billion in 2020 and that retail commerce will increase further to US$11.5 billion in 2021.

At AMI, we use a different methodology than the CCS 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 2020 the e-commerce market in Chile produced more than US$13.2 billion in sales. AMI forecasts that Chile’s e-commerce sales in 2021 will reach US$16.5 billion and surpass US$20 billion in 2022.


Projections

The CCS projects that ecommerce retail market in Chile will reach 11,779 in 2021 and 19,906 in 2023, but it doesn’t specify the unit or currency.

According to AMI analysis, the e-commerce market in Chile will grow by 28% between 2020 and 2024 to reach US$35.4 billion.


The Best-Selling E-Commerce Products in Chile

No recent reports with 2020 or 2021 data seem to be available on which products Chileans purchase the most online in all the country. A 2020 CCS report did list the percentage of sales by product category in Santiago between April and June 2020:

  1. Foods (70%)
  2. Technology (37%)
  3. Clothing (35%)
  4. Deliveries (33%)
  5. Footwear (29%)
  6. Home electronics (24%)
  7. Beauty and personal care (21%)
  8. Pets (16%)
  9. Gifts and accesories (15%)
  10. Home repairing (11%)
  11. Sports (10%)

A more recent report by Mercado Libre and GFK points out the most popular categories of products bought by Chilean customers online in the last six months:

  1. Clothes and footwear (47%)
  2. Furniture and home (24%)
  3. Computing22%
  4. Food and beverage 34%
  5. TV, electronics, audio and video (22%)
  6. Appliances, kitchen appliances (21%)
  7. Cellphones (20%)
  8. Beauty items (25%)
  9. Pet products (17%)
  10. Drugs and health-related products (15%)

The above is a customer survey rather than true transactional data, so it may not accurately reflect what e-commerce consumers in Chile actually buy.


Main Payment Methods Used in E-Commerce in Chile

According to the Global Payments Report by FIS, the most common payment methods used for e-commerce shopping in 2020 in Chile were:

  • Credit cards (38%)
  • Debit cards (20%)
  • Bank transfers (12%)
  • Digital wallets (10%)
  • Cash on delivery (6%)
  • Deferred debit (6%)
  • Direct debit (4%)
  • Others (3%)
  • Prepaid-cards (2%)

AMI uses a different methodology to calculate this, and its analysis extends to 2021 and beyond. As per AMI the most common payment methods used for e-commerce shopping in Chile during 2021 are:

  • Credit cards (61%)
  • Debit cards (21%)
  • Cash vouchers (3%)
  • Wallets (9%)
  • Bank transfers (4%)
  • Other methods (2%)

6 Megatrends in Latin America Payments for 2021 and Beyond

6 Megatrends in Latin America Payments for 2021 and Beyond

How to leverage the large-scale changes in the market


Main Devices Used for E-Commerce Purchases in Chile

According to CCS 2019 (the most recent report about the matter), about 34% of e-commerce purchases in Chile were made with a mobile device, a significant increase from the 25% of e-commerce purchases made with a mobile device in Chile in 2018.

Alternatively, the report from Mercado Libre and GFK indicates the most-preferred channel to look for online products, but it doesn’t specify whether people buy or not. As such,

  • 43.9% of Chileans prefer to search for products through an app in their cellphones
  • 28.4% of Chileans prefer to search for products through web mobile in their cellphones
  • 26.3% of Chileans prefer to search for a product through a computer or notebook
  • 0.7% of Chileans prefer to search for a product through an app in their tablets

As per AMI, our transactional-based data indicates that in 2020:

  • 62% of e-commerce purchases in Chile in 2020 were made with a desktop
  • 38% of e-commerce purchases in Chile in 2020 were made with mobile devices

By 2022 the percentages will shift more in favor of mobile, according to AMI projections:

  • 52% of e-commerce purchases in Chile in 2022 will be made with a desktop
  • 48% of e-commerce purchases in Chile in 2022 will be made with mobile devices

working class covid impact

Customer Insights into Chilean E-Commerce Shoppers

According to Mercado Libre and GFK, some key factors to consider with Chilean e-commerce shoppers include:

  • Mercado Libre is the most used e-commerce app in Chile: 86% of people use it, and it’s the favorite among Generation Z. It is followed by the Falabella app: 80% of people in Chile used it, mostly women. Other important apps are Aliexpress, Líder and Paris.
  • 49% of online shoppers in Chile are willing to “wait however long it takes” for free shipping or a cheaper product.
  • Chileans are willing to keep purchasing the following items online, even post-COVID: Drugs and health based products (57%); home cleaning products (49%); food and beverages (48%); tools and construction (46%); clothing and footwear (46%).
  • Several key factors spur e-commerce purchases among digital consumers in Chile, among them:
    • It’s comfortable to receive the products directly at home (82%)
    • To avoid going out, especially during lockdowns (82%)
    • To avoid getting COVID-19 (79%)
    • To access products you can’t find in the physical stores (71%)
    • To access to products that are difficult to find in Chile (70%)

The LatAm E-Commerce Datapack, 2020-2024

The LatAm E-Commerce Datapack, 2020-2024

Strategic data on market volumes, purchase habits, payment methods, demand drivers and more for 11 countries


Other Factors to Consider

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

  • 64% of e-commerce purchases in Chile are of retail products, 13% are of travel products and 22% are of digital goods (such as Netflix subscriptions)
  • Credit cards will be the payment method that grows the fastest in Chile’s e-commerce market through 2022
  • Crossborder accounts for 38% of e-commerce purchases in 2020

Going Further

#1 Our 2020-2024 E-Commerce Datapack contains extensive data on Chile. Click here to find out how to order a copy.

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

  • Identifying the major payment methods used in Chile’s e-commerce market to help merchants with strategic planning, market entry and market expansion
  • Helping merchants understand the cross-border e-commerce potential in Chile and the practices that can increase cross-border sales
  • Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help e-commerce merchants focused on Chile 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, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Peru.

Recent Posts