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New report from yStats.com: COVID-19 pushes move to online shopping in Brazil

Hamburg-based business research firm yStats.com has published a report, “Brazil B2C E-Commerce and Payment Market 2020 & COVID-19’s Impact.” The publication reveals that the pandemic outbreak has accelerated the adoption of digital commerce by consumers and retailers in the largest economy of Latin America while also creating havoc for in-store retail sales.

COVID-19 has increased online shopping’s share of total retail sales

Online retail sales in Brazil has been increasing consistently in recent years, with a double-digit growth rate in 2019 compared to the previous year. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic produced a spike in digital shopping growth in the first half of this year, but concern over the health crisis’ effect on the Brazilian economy as a whole points to a similar growth rate for the whole of 2020 as last year. The move to online buying by shoppers of all age groups, coupled with a sharp drop in sales in physical stores has increased online retail’s portion of consumer purchases. A forecast cited in the yStats.com report suggests that by the end of this decade, E-Commerce in Brazil could approach a share of one third of total retail sales.

Leading shopping websites see a surge in visits during the pandemic

Concern over the spread of the coronavirus has prompted residents to stay at home, which in turn has impelled online purchases. The leading E-Commerce website, the Brazilian subsidiary of Argentine-based Mercado Libre, has experience a spike in website visits during the height of the pandemic. Other leading shopping sites Americanas.com.br and Amazon.com.br saw an even higher percentage growth in visits during the coronavirus crisis than Mercadolivre.com, as spelled out in the yStats.com report. The most purchased product categories during this period have been supermarket goods, toys and games, and sporting equipment. Like other countries globally, online sales of event tickets as well as travel and lodging bookings saw negative growth in Brazil after the onset of the pandemic.

The coronavirus spread has affected online payments and delivery of goods in Brazil

When shopping online, consumers in Brazil have mainly used credit or debit cards and a bank transfer system unique to Brazil called Boleto Bancario. The COVID-19 crisis has spurred the manifold increase in the use of contactless payments with cards or digital wallets, with growth in this realm benefiting leading providers Samsung Pay, Mercado Pago, and Google Pay. Surveys cited in the yStats.com publication point to Brazilian consumer’s lack of confidence in timely delivery of goods ordered online, an issue made worse during the spike of orders during the coronavirus pandemic.