E-commerce a bright spot of Brazil’s otherwise struggling economy

World Today

While Brazil’s economy as a whole is barely growing, its e-commerce sector is thriving. In light of this, many of the industry’s biggest players gathered at a conference in Rio to discuss the future.

CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco reports.

Juliana Valadares is an e-commerce manager for six high-end brands in Brazil. She keeps their websites updated so potential clients can buy online through mobile phones, computers, or as is still often the case, in physical stores.

“We are using these sites to display our brands, and we did a survey that showed that more than 52 percent of consumers go to the sites before purchasing,” the Inbrands coordinator said.

Juliana is one of the participants at ‘e-commerce Brasil 2017‘, a gathering in its sixth consecutive year. It attracts the country’s biggest online players and consultants in a flourishing market.

“We have about 60 million people going online, buying online,” Rodrigo Amaral, a consultant for Slisistems, said. “So it is more people than in other countries around the world, so the service needs to get prepared for these new clients.”

With nearly 140 million internet users out of an estimated total population of more than 211 million, Brazil is an e-commerce opportunity not to be missed.

Retailers here say putting your business online is no longer optional in Brazil; it’s becoming the only way to reach consumers, but there are still some obstacles.

“We have shipping issues, because it is all land freight and expensive,” logistics expert Sergio Simoes said. “Sales taxes are high and the market is fragmented and chaotic.”

According to the most recent report from Ebit Webshoppers, Brazil’s e-commerce monitoring agency, online market revenue grew by 7.5 percent in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period last year. More than $6 billion in sales were reported.