This global briefing details the top trends affecting retail in Latin America in 2017, exploring how consumers are responding to changing economic conditions, the evolving role and structure of traditional channels, the continued development of cross-border internet retailing, and the rise of mobile internet retailing. This report will show how different companies have responded to these trends, and how these trends will shape the landscape over the next three years.
For most Latin American countries, the last few years have been marked by economic uncertainty. As a result, Latin Americans are seeking the best ways to put their money to good use. Retailers across the region are investing in private label and facilitating payment methods to overcome this challenging scenario.
The prevalence of the traditional channel in the region is largely attributable to its long-standing existence. However, this channel is losing ground to modern grocers. In most markets, the revival of this channel will depend largely on the speed with which traditional retailers and governments work together on solutions.
Price and brand availability are the two main reasons why cross-border e-commerce is a growing trend in Latin America. The most popular category is apparel and footwear, however preferences vary country by country. Even though cross-border e-commerce is gaining popularity, these types of purchase are still concentrated among the upper middle class.
Smartphone usage is exceptionally high in Latin America compared to other regions as well as the global average. Despite high levels of connectivity and device ownership, however, the relative importance of mobile internet retailing in Latin America continues to lag the global average in every market of the region. Part of this is due to low levels of consumer acceptance of the mobile channel. A second component is that few local retailers offer a strong mobile user experience.
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