The 2020 lockdowns led to surge in e-commerce, partly driven by one of the longest global lockdowns. In addition, another contributing factor to the exponential growth was that in October 2020 the Government approved a new Knowledge Economy Law that grants tax incentives to companies operating in high-tech industries and is designed to promote the provision of digital goods and services.
Companies are looking to reap the benefits on the investments they made in improving their online infrastructure in 2020 and are committed expanding their digital footprint, not least because the margins on online sales tend to be substantially higher than those on traditional retail sales. Also, despite society opening op and consumers visiting brick-and-mortar outlets once again, e-commerce continues to grow as much more consumers now appreciate the convenience of online shopping, with food and beverage continuing to be the largest product area in terms of value sales.
Third-party merchants continued to lead the e-commerce space and gained further value share in 2021, accounting for nearly three-quarters of value sales. The biggest marketplace in Argentina and Latin America is Mercado Libre and is it a vital platform for SMEs and the online marketplace offers benefits such as preferential fees and training.
Foreign commerce will continue to be relatively small in terms of value sales, as long as the government continues to enforce restrictions and impose high fees. At the moment, private consumers can only receive up to 12 shipments per year tax free, up to a maximum value of $US50 per shipment.
Gifts to celebrate special occasions will continue to be key to the development of e-commerce. Dates such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Children’s Day and Christmas, as well as those specially created by the Argentine Chamber of Electronic Commerce (CACE) to encourage sales, such as Hot Sale, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will continue to drive sales in this channel.
Physical stores are being transformed and players are increasingly putting aside space and also investment to develop distribution centres and pick-up points. Several chains as Cheeky, Mimo, Frávega and Musimundo are investing significantly in an omnichannel strategy, including improving distribution, and as a result, delivery times are reducing.
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Sales of consumer goods to the general public via the Internet. Please note that this includes sales through mobile phones and tablets (i.e. m-commerce). E-commerce includes sales generated through pure e-commerce websites and through sites operated by store-based retailers. Sales data is attributed to the country where the consumer is based, rather than where the retailer is based. The definition of e-commerce is agnostic as to where actual payment takes place; if an order is initiated online, it is considered to be an e-commerce transaction, even if the order is ultimately paid for in-store (or elsewhere). As a result, all ‘click-and-collect’ and ‘collect-at-store’ transactions are counted as e-commerce sales. E-commerce excludes sales of: (a) Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales, although please note that sales between businesses and consumers (i.e. B2C sales) on sites such as eBay are included; (b) Sales of motor vehicles, motorcycles and vehicle parts; (c) Tickets for events (sports, music concerts, etc.) and travel; (d) Sales of travel and holiday packages; (e) Revenue generated by online gambling sites; (f) Returned products/unpaid invoices; and (h) Internet sales from direct selling companies, as these are tracked in Direct Selling market size/shares. Example e-commerce brands include Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Apple.com, iTunes, Rakuten, Tesco.com, Dell.com, Coles Online, etc. 3rd Party Merchant sales through online marketplaces, such as Amazon.com, eBay.com and Walmart.com, are included and split out in shares. 3rd party merchants are the summation of sales that come from businesses that are present on an online marketplace (e.g. Amazon, Alibaba). Marketplaces are websites that allow multiple merchants to sell on the marketplace website, with the marketplace operator processing the transactions, but many marketplaces provide offer other services as to help with shipping, handling, payment, and product storage. The marketplace is not the merchant of record legally, but for the sake of shares, sales from 3rd part merchants are attributed to the marketplace brand operator.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our E-Commerce (Goods) research and analysis database.
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