In Consumer and Retail, Payments

Mexico’s economic activity has been paradoxical. The export economy is booming: it had a 21% growth during 2020 according to AMI’s 2022 Latin America Forecast. On the other hand, the national economy is softening, some of this may be due to policy shifts and missteps by the López Obrador administration.

Even so, there has been positive growth in Mexico regarding product sales, including sectors such as hardware, cosmetics and videogames, which we covered in greater detail here. In fact, retail sales already reached pre-pandemic levels during March 2021. And, as is occurring in a number of Latin American countries, e-commerce is growing powerfully. During 2020, online sales in Mexico accounted for 9% of total retail, according to Asociación Mexicana de Venta Online (MExican Association of Online Sales, AMVO in Spanish).


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


Mexican E-commerce Market Overview

According to a 2020 study on Mexican e-commerce by AMVO, 2020 e-commerce sales in Mexico were 316 billion Mexican pesos (US$14.87 billion), an 81% increase from 2019.

At Americas Market Intelligence (AMI), we use a different methodology than AMVO to calculate market size, working in all merchant verticals, PC, mobile and in-app purchases, cross-border 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 Mexico produced more than US$37.5 billion in sales.


No substantiated figures appear to have been yet reported by AMVO for Mexico e-commerce sales in 2021, including Q1 or Q2 figures or projections for the whole year. Forbes magazine cited Kantar regarding e-commerce sales in Mexico during 2021 Q1, which grew by 300% in comparison to the previous year.

On the other hand, the Hot Sale 2021 report of results by AMVO indicates online sales by 18.5 billion Mexican pesos (US$872 million) during the nine days of the event (from May 23-31, 2021). The Mexican retail sector represented 68% of total 2021 Hot Sale total sales.

By the end of 2021, the value of the Mexican e-commerce market will be US$49.6 billion, according to AMI projections.


E-Commerce Projections for Mexico 2020-2024

According to AMI analysis, the e-commerce market in Mexico will grow by 27% between 2020 and 2024 to reach US$96.8 billion.


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


The Top-Selling Products in Mexico’s E-Commerce Market

According to AMVO, in 2020 the best-selling e-commerce products in Mexico were:

  1. Food delivery (66%)
  2. Fashion (57%)
  3. Beauty and personal care (52%)
  4. Electronics (46%)
  5. Appliances (43%)
  6. Consoles and video games (41%)
  7. Pharmacy (41%)
  8. Supermarket (40%)
  9. Office supplies (37%)
  10. Hardware (35%)

It is important to note that all of these results are survey-based, rather than of transactional data.


The Top-Selling Products in Mexico’s Hot Sale 2021

As for Hot Sale 2021 in Mexico, the best-selling products were:

  1. Fashion (36%)
  2. Electronics (28%)
  3. Beauty and personal care (24%)
  4. Appliances (20%)
  5. Pantry (19%)
  6. Cellphones (17%)
  7. Sports (13%)
  8. Home and Furniture (13%)
  9. Consoles and video games (13%)
  10. Toys (11%)

The Top-Selling Services in Mexico’s E-commerce Market

The 2021 report by AMVO also shows the main services purchased through e-commerce in Mexico:

  1. Suscription services (83%)
  2. Mobile phone services (78%)
  3. Bank services (78%)
  4. Services payment (75%)
  5. Cultural content (like music) (72%)
  6. Urban transportation (70%)
  7. Travel (67%)
  8. Public shows and Events (57%)
  9. Education (52%)
  10. Shipping services (52%)
  11. Financial services (24%)

Main Payment Methods Used in E-Commerce in Mexico

The Global Payment Report by FIS indicates the most common payment methods used for e-commerce shopping in Mexico during 2020 as follows:

  1. Credit card (29%)
  2. E-Wallet (27%)
  3. Debit card (18%)
  4. Bank transfer (10%)
  5. Cash on delivey (8%)
  6. Charge and deferred debit card (5%)
  7. Prepaid card (2%)
  8. Other (1%)
  9. Rechargeable card (1%)

AMI uses a different methodology for this analysis. As per AMI the most common payment methods used for e-commerce shopping in Mexico in 2020 were:

  1. Credit cards (43%)
  2. Debit cards (26%)
  3. Cash-based payment methods (16%)
  4. Wallets (10%)
  5. Bank transfers (2%)
  6. Other (3%)

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 Mexico

A study from Deloitte (2021) shows that during 2020:

  • 59% of Mexican online shoppers preferred to buy with a smartphone
  • 20% of Mexican online shoppers preferred to buy with a laptop
  • 8% of Mexican online shoppers preferred to buy with a desktop
  • 7% of Mexican online shoppers preferred to buy with a tablet

The percentages above are survey-based, with data collected until March 2020. This is not as accurate as transactional data from actual purchases made by Mexican consumers in 2020. In this regard, transactional data from AMI indicates that:

  • 57% of e-commerce purchases in Mexico in 2020 were made with a mobile device
  • 43% of e-commerce purchases in Mexico in 2020 were made with a desktop

By the end of 2021, the percentages will shift even further in favor of mobile, according to AMI projections:

  • 65% of e-commerce purchases in Mexico in 2021 will be made with mobile devices
  • 35% of e-commerce purchases in Mexico in 2021 will be made with a desktop

Mexico E-Commerce Consumer Insights

Some key factors to consider with Mexican e-commerce shoppers include their top reasons for shopping online. The data from October 2020 indicated that:

  • 50% of Mexican consumers bought online to avoid leaving their homes
  • 44% of Mexican consumers bought online to avoid crowds
  • 37% of Mexican consumers bought online so they could receive their purchases directly at their homes
  • 37% of Mexican consumers bought online to take advantage of promotions and discounts
  • 28% of Mexican bought online because of the ability to compare prices and options
  • 2 out of 10 Mexican internet users make an e-commerce purchase right after interacting with online ads, according to AIMX 2021.
  • Main apps used to buy online in Mexico:
    1. Mercado Libre
    2. Amazon
    3. Shein
    4. Liverpool
    5. Aliexpress
    6. Segundamano

  • 4 out of 10 Mexican online shoppers bought from a foreign website during 2020. According to the Asociación de Internet MX (MX Asociation of Internet or AIMX in Spanish), the United States is a prominent market, already accounting for 74% of cross-border online purchases from Mexico, an 10% increase over 2019.
  • Main reasons for cross-border online shopping in Mexico:
    • 57% of Mexican online cross-border shoppers wanted something unique that they cannot find in Mexico
    • 48% of Mexican online cross-border shoppers consider that product prices are better with cross-border sites than in Mexico-based e-commerce sites

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


2019 Latin America E-Commerce Datapack

Additional Resources

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

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

  • Identifying the major payment methods used in Mexico’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 Mexico and the practices that can increase cross-border sales
  • Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help e-commerce merchants focused on Mexico 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

We are a solution for companies that has specific data, market research or market intelligence needs regarding the e-commerce market in Mexico, or in specific LatAm markets such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Peru.

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