While there was an expectation for e-commerce’s explosive growth to be mostly restricted to 2020, the great influx of money created by the three consecutive pension fund withdrawals translated into 2021 recording further double-digit current growth, helping the channel to establish itself as a preferred shopping channel. Once the vaccination programme was ramped up in 2021 and reached levels that allowed the central government to reduce movement limitations and completely lift quarantines, local consumers returned to stores.
Food and drink e-commerce remained one of the most important categories within the channel in 2021, posting high double-digit current value growth. This performance was in large part driven by grocery retailers, particularly hypermarkets, which continued to target consumers with their online offers and investment in delivery and fulfilment options.
The return to in-person shopping and the reduction of limitations on mobility meant that one of the continued issues linked to online shopping has been addressed by players. Returns and exchanges have been easier to complete in 2021, with many retailers still maintaining longer return timeframes for e-commerce sales to account for delays in shipments, while consumers are still reconnecting with the omnichannel format.
Despite further impressive growth in 2021, e-commerce started to show signs of stabilising, a trend that is expected to continue over the forecast period, especially as the pressure from rising inflation rates in the country is expected to limit overall consumption during 2022 and 2023. Some e-commerce players are likely to sustain strong or even dynamic performances as older and newer customers remain loyal.
While e-commerce options for retailers witnessed impressive growth over the review period, and is expected to continue to expand over the forecast period, informal online sales have also benefited from the rise of consumers willing to browse and pay for products via digital platforms. According to the Camara Nacional de Comercio (National Chamber of Commerce), CLP318 million was spent on informal online shopping, with apparel and footwear being the preferred products.
With consumers used to purchasing many products online during 2021, the forecast period is expected to continue to experience the important push created by marketplaces launched during the pandemic. This product variety expansion is expected to increase the number of interactions, with further support offered by retailers continuing to invest in distribution centres and dark stores, which allows for faster delivery times.
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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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