2017 Retailing Top Trends in Latin America

February 2017

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.

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Economic woes lead consumers to rethink purchasing habits

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.

Traditional grocers losing ground to modern channel

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.

Cross-border e-commerce

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.

Mobile: Engagement High, Purchases Still to Come

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.


Key findings: 2017 retailing top trends in Latin America

Changing Economies Shift Consumer Habits

Major Latin American economies hit the brakes
Consumers trading down in search of less expensive products...
...and retailers respond
Facilitating consumer payments
While some struggle, others perform better

Traditional Grocery: The Fight to Remain Competitive

What is happening in the traditional channel?
Why is the traditional channel losing ground?
The outlook is mixed for the traditional channel

Cross-Border E-Commerce

Cross-border e-commerce: An important driver of online sales
What drives consumers to shop abroad?
What do they buy?
How does it work?
Innovations in cross-border e-commerce

Mobile: Engagement High, Purchases Still to Come

High levels of access create potential for mobile commerce…
…but the reality has been disappointing in retail
Best p ractices for g rowing mobile r etailing
Best p ractices: Integrate into a broader omnichannel strategy
Case studies: Best practices in action
Best practices in action: General merchandise
Best practices in action : Grocery

Looking Ahead

With economic recovery, consumers may return to old habits
Changing economies/consumer habits shape channel performance
Will mobile’s potential be realised ?


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