Although Linio and Ripley continue grow as marketplaces, MercadoLibre remains a favourite amongst Chilean consumers due to the variety available and the payment options, which cater to the needs of a wide range of consumers. Ripley was one of the first to integrate small local businesses and expand its product variety in addition to its classic department store range.
Department stores continue to optimise their sales area by only showing samples of products that require larger space for storage and have slow rotation. Large retailers located in high-density areas where space is critical have reduced part of their in-store physical supply, such as home appliances or home furniture, to incorporate a wider variety online.
As consumers feel increasingly comfortable purchasing products online, retailers have begun to respond to the growing demand by focusing on the variety of supply, logistics and payment methods. Players such as MercadoLibre and Linio had already expanded their payment methods to include people who did not have a credit card and were unable buy online, but during the second half of 2018 payment methods took a step forward with the implementation of contactless payments.
After seven years in the country, Dafiti has become recognised amongst Chilean consumers as an important online retailer of apparel and footwear. Other categories, such as electronics or homewares, are easier to shop for online, as these do not require fitting.
To face the possible arrival of Amazon, during 2018 Falabella managed to grow through the 100% acquisition of Linio, one of the top marketplaces with a regional presence, and formed a partnership with Google Pay to offer contactless payment to its customers. In addition, Falabella announced a capital increase of USD800 million and the launch of a 47,000 sq m distribution centre, which will allow it to process orders faster to respond to its growing online strategy.
The high penetration of the internet and large number of smartphones, combined with a high banked population, has allowed Chilean consumers to increase their online consumption. Cross-border products have become attractive for consumers, as there is a wide variety of products that cannot be found locally or are available at a higher price.
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