E-commerce sales reach all-time high in Brazil

The Covid-19 outbreak has driven the sharpest increase in sales and revenue in the history of Brazilian e-commerce, according to a new study

E-commerce sales in Brazil have achieved an all-time high as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to a new study referring to activity during April 2020.

Sales for the month practically doubled, with an increase of 98.74% in April in relation to the same month in 2019. Additionally, there was an 81.64% revenue boost for companies operating in digital sales that same month, according to an index produced by the Brazilian Chamber of Electronic Commerce (BCEC).

In April 2020, e-commerce became the main - or only - sales channel for many Brazilian retailers as a result of the social distancing measures imposed by the new coronavirus outbreak, driving unprecedented growth for players in the sector, according to André Dias, coordinator of the metrics committee at the BCEC.

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"Electronic commerce is certainly one of the fastest-growing sectors of the [Brazilian] economy", Dias said, adding that in the daily comparisons of sales within that particular month, there were sales peaks driving growth rates above 100% - a milestone in the history of Brazilian e-commerce of just over 20 years.

According to the index, 12.3% of Brazilian Internet users made at least one purchase online in the first quarter of 2020. There was a decrease of 1.4 percentage points in relation to the previous quarter (13.7%), but also a boost of 2.1 percentage points in terms of buying activity online in relation to the first quarter of 2019 (10.1%).

In terms of the best performing segments in Brazilian e-commerce, the report cites the leading product categories in e-commerce during March: home office equipment, technology and communications equipment (40.1%), furniture and home appliances (24.5%), followed by apparel (12.4%), personal care products (10%), medical products and cosmetics (8.3%), food and drinks (2.8%) and books and stationery products (1.9%).

A separate study by Brazilian fintech Ebanx also that Brazilians are likely to maintain or increase the frequency of international e-commerce shopping during and after the Covid-19 outbreak. The findings are based on a survey carried out between April and May with 1,500 online consumers who have purchased goods or services from the companies the startup serves, which include Spotify and Airbnb.

When buying from international e-commerce websites, Brazilians are particularly interested in electronics, clothing and decor items, according to the study. In addition, streaming and online games are increasingly popular in Brazil: Ebanx has seen a 106% increase in the total payment volume processed in March 2020 for both of these services in relation to the same month in 2019.