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Mexico’s Growing E-commerce Industry and Top E-commerce Platforms

Market size

Mexico has a population of over 130 million and the marketplace industry is booming, offering online marketplaces an incredible opportunity to expand their business in the country with the second-largest population in Latin America. Although Brazil has a larger population, according to the eCommerce Foundation’s September 2018 Latin America eCommerce Report, Mexico was the largest e-commerce market in Latin America.

The Mexican internet and e-commerce landscape already counts tens of millions of users but it is still far from being mature. With 88 million internet users, Mexican internet users are still only 67% of the total population. Mexico is a medium income country, and Mexicans are fairly accustomed to e-commerce and its convenience. They often use mobile devices to access the internet and shop online for a number of goods and services, making Mexico a maturing e-commerce market.

And here are some stats that detail the rapid growth of Mexico’s e-commerce market:

  • The revenue of Mexico’s e-commerce market is projected to be US$9.441b in 2019.
  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2019-2023) of 7.9%, resulting in a market volume of US$12.778b by 2023.
  • User penetration, otherwise known as the number of users expanding into a market, is 47.2% in 2019 and is expected to hit 52.7% by 2023.

The market will continue growing because of improvements in connectivity, enhanced financial inclusion, more streamlined logistics, and increased digital literacy.

Market Trends

From May 29th to June 1st, Mexican retailers run the Hot Sale Event, pushing special offers and promotions that encourage online shopping. Similarly to Black Friday in the United States, major e-retailers offer deals in electronic goods and apparel.

It is expected that by 2021, fashion will continue to be the most popular online purchasing category with a value of over USD 4 billion. The second favorite, electronics, and media will have an expected worth of USD 3.89 billion.

The top incentives for online shoppers are secure payment options, free shipping, interest-free monthly payment plans, and a guaranteed return policy. There is a growing trend towards purchasing through mobile devices. Furthermore, there is a high demand for foreign goods, with the US accounting for 48% of all Mexico’s imports. China, Japan, South Korea and Germany are also substantial import partners.

Consumer behavior

There has been an increase in the consuming power among Mexicans over the past decade. However, the busy work style has left them pressed for time. With conveniences such as saving time and finding better deals online, many brick and mortar shops will have new challenges to face.

Customer service is becoming the main deciding factor for shopping now. Consumers today are more educated and seek a better rapport with their brand or business. Mexican consumers remain loyal to their brands. However, the global downturn of 2008 has changed this trend considerably. More and more consumers are turning towards low-cost brands and developing loyalty to them. Consumers who opted for the low-cost brands have stated that these brands outdid their expectations. They are more than happy to continue with the new economical brands.

Top 5 E-commerce Platforms

Top 1 Mercado Libre Mexico

Beating the American giants, the leader of e-commerce in Mexico is Mercado Libre Mexico, a marketplace developed by the Argentinian e-commerce and electronic payment company Mercado Libre. It allows people and business to sell their products through a wide range of categories, from electronics and home appliances to autos and accessories, from fashion to toys and furniture, and even property. Mercado Libre is present in multiple countries of Latin America, reaching more than 170 million customers and notably also leader of e-commerce sites in Brazil.

Website: mercadolibre.com.mx – Estimated monthly traffic: 108.5 Million visits

Top 2 Amazon Mexico

Founded in the US in 1994, Amazon started as an online bookstore that later diversified to products including media, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. Having expanded to many countries, including Mexico, Amazon has become the uncontested leader of e-commerce in the US and globally, and developed further into brick-and-mortar retail with the acquisition of Whole Foods Market, as well as publishing, electronics, cloud computing, video streaming, and production.

Website: amazon.com.mx – Estimated monthly traffic: 41.3 Million visits

Top 3 Coppel

Founded in Mexico in 1941, Coppel is a chain of department stores. Selling electronics, home decoration, appliances, clothes, and accessories, as well as auto parts, sports goods and travels, Coppel operated through more than 20 brick-and-mortar stores as well as its online e-commerce platform.

Website: coppel.com – Estimated monthly traffic: 17.6 Million visits

Top 4 Walmart Mexico

Walmart is the world’s largest retail corporation, operating hypermarkets, department stores, and grocery stores. A leader in the United States, among other countries Walmart is also engaged in Mexico through its subsidiary Walmart de Mexico, also known as Walmex, one of the largest companies in Mexico. Its online shop sells a diversified range of products, from food to electronics, from fashion to pharmacy, from home equipment to auto-parts.

Website: walmart.com.mx – Estimated monthly traffic: 15.7 Million visits

Top 5 Liverpool

Liverpool is a retail company operating a chain of department stores in Mexico, operated by the company El Putero de Liverpool Limited. Through its stores as well as its online platform, Liverpool primarily sells clothes and accessories, electronics, home decoration, furniture, toys, and specialty food throughout Mexico.

Website: liverpool.com.mx – Estimated monthly traffic: 9.8 Million visits

Payment methods

PayPal, debit cards, and personal credit cards are the preferred methods of payment. However, due to a low rate of financial inclusion, many online retailers offer payment alternatives such as cash payments at convenience stores.

MercadoLibre and Amazon are the top online sellers, and the majority of Mexican e-shoppers make international purchases and perhaps as a response to this, 70 percent of online shoppers prefer to pay for their products via Paypal.

And debit cards are preferred with an average of 3.8 debit cards per household (similar to the UK – 3.4 per household). Besides, over 22.6 million credit cards spread across the country. Some local sites offer interest free monthly instalments.

Logistics and Infrastructure

Mexico achieved an LPI score of 3.38 placing them 54th in the World Bank logistics rankings. This score is less than half a point behind Qatar (a world logistics leader).  

Logistics and Infrastructure are undergoing intense modernization with a program launched to include: 133,000 kilometer network of highways, 76 international airports, 27,000 kilometers of railroad and 117 maritime ports (to include 68 container ports).

Mexico aims to rank in the top 20 percent of the World Economic Forum’s Infrastructure Competitiveness Index by 2030.

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