Historically, online spending by Ecuadorians has been primarily focused on services and entertainment. However, consumption patterns in this area have changed dramatically since the outbreak of COVID-19, with people increasingly choosing to purchase physical goods via the e-commerce channel.
For many years, cross-border e-commerce in Ecuador was constrained by the “4x4” tariff, whereby a tax of USD42 was levied on personal imports of certain types of goods in cases where the package had a value of less than USD400 and weighed less than 4kg. However, in June 2021 the government eliminated this tariff, making online purchases from foreign retailers more affordable and appealing for local consumers.
The e-commerce boom in Ecuador brought about by the pandemic has encouraged players active in this channel to increase investment in new and emerging business models. For instance, in late 2020 Rappi – one of the country’s leading third party delivery platforms – launched a pilot programme for the use of drones to deliver products.
The outlook for e-commerce is favourable, with total current value sales projected to grow at robust rates from 2022 onwards. The fallout of COVID-19 has greatly strengthened the penetration of this channel in Ecuador, in that consumers are now more appreciative of the convenience, choice and potential for competitive price deals that online shopping affords, while store-based retailers are increasingly cognisant of the importance of investing in digital sales and marketing strategies.
Following the scrapping of the “4x4” tariff, cross-border e-commerce looks set to perform strongly throughout the forecast period, with current value sales expected to increase at a markedly faster pace than those in the corresponding domestic channel. Cross-border sales should also be bolstered by continued growth in the number of foreign retailers offering products to online shoppers in Ecuador, either directly through their own websites or via online marketplaces like Tiendamia.
Millennials and members of Generation Z now make up a majority of the population in Ecuador. This is another factor that bodes well for the further expansion of e-commerce in the country, as these demographics are the most tech-savvy and therefore much more likely to shop for goods online than older age groups.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the E-Commerce (Goods) industry in Ecuador with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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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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