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In 2019 Mexico’s economic activity has been paradoxical, with the export economy booming and the national economy softening. Some of this may be due to policy shifts and missteps by the Lopez Obrador administration, and we explore this in greater detail in our 2020 Major Markets Forecast for Latin America.

That said, there has been positive growth in product sales in Mexico in 2019, including sectors such as smartphones, videogames, premium spirits and hybrid cars, which we covered in greater detail here.

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

Market Overview

According to a recent study from Euromonitor, 2018 e-commerce sales in Mexico were 505 billion pesos (US$26 billion), a 27% increase versus the 2017 total of 397 billion pesos (US$20.6 billion).

No substantiated figures appear to have been yet reported for Mexico e-commerce sales in 2019, including Q1 or Q2 figures or projections for the whole year.

At Americas Market Intelligence (AMI), we use a different methodology than Euromonitor 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 Mexico produced more than US$29 billion in sales.

E-Commerce Projections for Mexico 2018-2022

According to AMI analysis, the e-commerce market in Mexico will grow by 99% between 2018 and 2022 to reach US$57 billion.

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

According to a December 2018 report from Asociación de, in 2018 the top-selling e-commerce products in Mexico were:

  1. Transportation (requested via mobile app, web page, etc.)—60%
  2. Digital services (streaming videos or music, etc.)—49%
  3. Tickets for events (41%)
  4. Digital downloads (books, apps, etc.)—39%
  5. Travel (37%)
  6. Clothing, footwear, accessories (35%)
  7. Fast food via app purchases (33%)
  8. Lodging (hotels, renting houses/apartments)—32%
  9. Books and magazines (physical copies)—19%
  10. Computer software (excluding games)—17%

That said, this appears to be based on survey data, i.e. asking e-commerce shoppers in Mexico what they buy, which is not as accurate as using financial transaction data—this is what we at AMI use in developing our E-Commerce Datapack and for other LatAm e-commerce research projects we conduct for clients.

According to a January 2019 survey of 1,513 Internet users in Mexico who had purchased products online in the previous year, conducted by the Asociación Mexicana de Venta Online (AMVO), the most products most purchased via e-commerce in Mexico are:

  1. Clothing, footwear and accessories (77%)
  2. Food delivered to the home (67%)
  3. Electronics (computers, cameras, cell phones)—65%
  4. Products for the home (décor, furniture, appliances)—63%
  5. Toys and video games (60%)
  6. Beauty and personal care (58%)
  7. Sports clothing and equipment (54%)
  8. Supermarket products (35%)
  9. Pet products (30%)
  10. Medicines (27%)

AMVO also listed the top services most purchased via e-commerce in Mexico:

  1. Subscription services (TV shows, movies, music)—77%
  2. Internet banking (payments, transfers, withdrawals)—77%
  3. Entertainment (tickets to movies and shows)—76%
  4. Mobile phone charges (top-ups, renewals, etc.)—70%
  5. Digital content (music and book downloads)—66%
  6. Utility payments (water, electric, phone)—63%
  7. Travel (plane/bus tickets, lodging, tourist packages)—61%
  8. Urban travel (taxi, scooter, motorcycle, bikes)—60%

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Main Payment Methods Used in E-Commerce in Mexico

According to the Asociación de’s survey results, in 2018 the most common payment methods used for e-commerce shopping in Mexico were:

  1. Credit card (65%)
  2. Debit card (65%)
  3. Digital wallet (33%)
  4. Bank transfer (12%)
  5. Cash on delivery (8%)
  6. Convenience store payment (7%)
  7. Payment in department store (6%)
  8. Prepaid card (5%)
  9. Payment in supermarket (5%)
  10. Gift card (4%)
  11. Bank payment via reference number (3%)
  12. QR code (3%)
  13. Other methods (2%)
  14. Payments in pharmacy (1%)

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

  • Credit cards (39%)
  • Cash vouchers (19%)
  • Digital wallets (17%)
  • Debit card (15%)
  • Other methods (7%)
  • Bank transfers (3%)

Main Devices Used for E-Commerce Purchases in Mexico

The 2018 study from Asociación de did not list devices most commonly used for purchases, while AMVO’s 2019 report indicated that in 2018, between 72% and 79% of visits to e-commerce sites in Mexico were made using a mobile device, while 21% to 28% of visits were made with desktops. The variance is due to the fact that AMVO reports the device breakdowns by quarter, so in Q1 2018 72% of visits were from mobile devices and 28% from desktops, then in Q2 74% were made from mobile devices and 26% from desktops, and so on. Netrica is cited as the data source for this, but methodology is unclear.

AMI data indicates that:

  • 51% of e-commerce purchases in Mexico in 2019 will be made with a desktop
  • 49% of e-commerce purchases in Mexico in 2019 will be made with mobile devices

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

  • 41% of e-commerce purchases in Mexico in 2022 will be made with a desktop
  • 59% of e-commerce purchases in Mexico in 2022 will be made with mobile devices

Mexico E-Commerce Consumer Insights

According to AMVO and Asociación de, some key factors to consider with Mexican  e-commerce shoppers include:

  • 6 of 10 Mexican e-commerce shoppers surveyed by AVNO report engaging in cross-border e-commerce, compared to 47% in a survey conducted by la Asociacion de
  • 84% prefer home delivery of their products, 23% prefer COD, another 23% prefer picking items up at a distribution center (post office or shipping office) and 20% prefer picking them up at the store
  • 14% of Mexican Internet users made an e-commerce purchase after interacting with online advertising
  • 41% of Internet users in Mexico go online to request rides, 5% more than in 2018
  • 38% of Internet users in Mexico won’t shop online because of security concerns
  • After making an online purchase, 45% of Mexican e-shoppers say they review products, 39% follow brands on social media and 24% sign up to receive newsletters or discounts via email from brands

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Other Factors to Consider

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

  • Uber, Rappi and other on-demand services have been highly successful in Mexico, though cash is used to pay for these services more than half the time
  • New digital banks have entered the Mexican marketplace, and this could expand credit card access among younger demographic groups
  • While retail represents 67% of the sales volume in Mexico’s e-commerce market in 2019, other significant sectors include digital goods/services (17%) and travel (16%)

Going Further

#1 Click here for a free detailed report on Mexico’s digital consumers: payment methods, payment preferences, shopping habits and more

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

#3 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

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 Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Peru.

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