In Consumer and Retail

While marketers at most (if not all) companies know which tactics are working and which aren’t with their specific targets, tracking trends with a larger universe of customers is a valuable approach. It allows marketers to anticipate larger market shifts which could affect them or offer ideas for specific tactics to try with their current customers. However, trends data can often seem like a story crawl during a news program: fact after fact zooms by but the flow is often chaotic and it’s difficult to make sense of the news.

With that in mind, we tried to identify a number of trends among LatAm consumers that seem to have strong relevance across multiple verticals and which also may reflect tactics that marketers are already employing, particularly in the B2C world.

LatAm Consumers Are Embracing Social Commerce

According to ResearchAndMarkets,
social commerce in Latin America will grow with a CAGR of 28.9% between 2022 and 2028 to go from a volume of US$6.2 billion in 2022 to US$27.3 billion by 2028.

While public data on social commerce adoption is still somewhat sparse for Latin America, Statista indicated in 2022 that:

In addition, the Cámara Argentina de Comercio Electrónico (CACE) recently reported that:

Another study, this one by Initiative and Chile’s Asociación Nacional de Avisadores (ANDA), found that only

  • 2 of 10 Chileans engaged in social commerce

So while we have some intriguing data points to consider, we still seem to lack a large body of research on social commerce in Latin America that drills down into number of users per country, preferred payment methods, product discovery process, buying journey, etc. As such, companies could find significant opportunities in partnering with an experienced firm to research social commerce in different Latin American countries, especially as TikTok—which has 136 million users in Latin America—moves to offer online shopping in Brazil in 2023.

Latin American Consumers Want Brands to Be Fun—Especially with Ads and on Social Media

In 2022 Oracle produced The Happiness Report, which surveyed 12,000 consumers and business leaders in 14 countries, including Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.

Among the findings:

  • 90% of respondents in Mexico, 95% of respondents in Colombia and 92% of Brazilians are more prone to remember ads that are amusing
  • 80% of Mexicans and 81% of Brazilians say they’d be more than likely to buy again from a brand that uses humor
  • 81% of Mexicans, 83% of Brazilians and 81% of Colombians would recommend a fun brand to friends and family
  • 75% of Brazilians, 68% of Mexicans and 66% of Colombians would chose a fun brand over the competition
  • 89% of Colombians, 81% of Mexicans and 83% of Brazilians would follow a fun brand on social media
  • 72% of Mexicans, 81% of Brazilians and 74% of Colombians would prefer to interact with a fun conversational bot
  • 76% of Colombians, 78% of Brazilians and 67% of Mexicans would open a brand’s e-blast if the subject line were fun or humorous.

So why aren’t brands giving their customers the giggles? Fear.

According to study results, 77% of Colombian companies, 71% of Brazilian companies and 75% of Mexican companies included in the survey responded that they are afraid to use humor in customer interactions.

One good reason for this is that 62% of Colombians, 46% of Mexicans and 53% of Brazilians said they would “cancel” a brand if it offended them.

Latin American Consumers Are Unhappy with the Customer Service They Receive

A ZenDesk study published in 2022 showed that 70% of consumers in Brazil and Mexico feel that their expectations of customer service have increased in the past year—yet 43% say that customer service is a secondary concern for companies.

HubSpot also published research on customer service attitudes in 2022, surveying consumers from Mexico, Chile and Colombia. It found that only 20% of Colombian customers were totally satisfied with the customer service they receive, and there were similar low percentages for Chileans (19.3%) and Mexicans (18.6%).

Mobile-First Targeting in Latin America Makes Total Sense

A June 2022 study conducted by Rapyd surveyed 3,088 online consumers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, revealing that 64% prefer shopping with their mobile phones, with percentages ranging from 76% in Mexico, 66% in Brazil and 63% in Chile to 63% in Colombia, 61% in Peru and 52% in Argentina.

This preference for mobile tracks with other study data. For example, Comscore’s 2022 report Cambios en el consumidor digital indicated that for travel sites, 87% of Brazilian internet users accessed them via mobile, and the same applied to 79% of Mexican internet users and 69% of Argentine internet users.

Furthermore, a 2022 study — entitled Conexión LatAm and released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s branches in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay — revealed that 93% of LatAm internet users access the internet via smartphone, significantly more than those who use PC/laptop (75%) or smart TV (68%).

Online Reviews Influence the Online Purchases of Latin Americans

According to Statista Global Consumer Survey, Latin Americans seem to be more influenced by online reviews than consumers from other countries. Only 44% of American consumers, 43% of Japanese consumers and 41% of French consumers think that online reviews play an important role in their online purchase decisions. In contrast, 63% of Brazilian consumers find online reviews useful in shopping, with similar larger percentages among Colombians (60%) and Mexicans (57%).

Latin Americans Are Consuming More Online Audio Than Ever

The 2022 study El poder del audio online, done by IPG Mediabrands and Entravision Cisneros Interactive and covering Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Puerto Rico, indicates that:

  • 87% of Latin Americans consume audio online
  • 62% of Latin Americans listen to online audio weekly and 32% of Latin Americans listen to online audio daily
  • 50% of listeners consume a minimum of more than 2 hours of online content per listening session
  • More than 66% of Generation Z Latin Americans (born between 1996 and 2012) listen to online music daily, while only 18% listen to traditional radio daily
  • 61% of Latin American millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) listen to online music daily and only 28% listen to traditional radio daily

This study makes further interesting assertions about ad response and devices on these platforms:

  • 62% of online audio listeners remember listening to an ad during the last 30 days they spent on an online audio platform
  • 45% of online audio listeners in Latin America use their smartphones to listen, while 20% use notebooks, 15% use tablets and 19% use other devices

While Spotify seems to have the largest market share of online audio platforms (83% vs. 12% for Deezer and 5% for Amazon Music), YouTube is another prime platform for listening to music and has 2.48% market share in South America among social media networks—and South America has 368 million Internet users.

Online Video Consumption—and Online Ad Views—Posting Strong Growth in Latin America

The Cambios en el consumidor digital study by Comscore shows that in January 2022, Argentine users had the most engagement with video content, spending 5.6 minutes per video.

Here’s a breakdown of video engagement in terms of minutes spent per video in other countries:

  • Brazil: 4.5
  • Chile: 4.7
  • Colombia: 4.6
  • Mexico: 5.0
  • Peru: 4.8

For marketers, it’s interesting to note that total minutes spent watching video ads grew significantly in different countries between January 2021 and January 2022:

  • Argentina: +13%
  • Chile: +79%
  • Colombia: +7%
  • Peru: +44%

Consumption of video content also skewed male in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru: Men consumed an average of 124 minutes more video than women in these countries during January 2022.

Next Steps

Contact us to arrange for a deeper dive into understanding LatAm consumers. We’ve been studying LAC for 30 years and have produced more than 600 market/consumer intelligence studies centered on LatAm consumers in CPG, FMCG, cosmetics, foods, autos, beverages, appliances, travel, electronics and much more.

Our team could help your company uncover the opportunities that each of these trends offer so as to help you maximize your growth or improve your market share. If your concern is centered on close competitors, we can easily carry out a competitive intelligence study to deliver insights into your rival’s approach and future strategy.

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