M-commerce in Brazil up 84 percent in a year

But segment still faces hurdles including poor mobile coverage and lack of retailer readiness.
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer on

The number of Brazilians using mobile devices for purchase of products and services has skyrocketed with an 84.2 percent increase over the last 12 months, according to recent research.

In June 2013, mobile transactions represented 3.8 percent of the total e-commerce pie in Brazil — by June 2014, that number had gone up to 7 percent.

During that period, 2.89 million transactions were carried out, the equivalent to R$1.13bn ($497m), according to the report WebShoppers by consultancy firm e-Bit. The key segments are fashion and accessories with 18 percent of all sales, followed by cosmetics and health products with 16 percent and electronics with 11 percent.

The report suggests that if the same growth rate is maintained, by the end of 2014, mobile transactions will represent 10 percent of all online commerce in Brazil. In addition, the report predicts that Brazilian online outlets will have served 63 million unique consumers by year's end.

By comparison, m-commerce in the United States will account for 29 percent of online purchases this year, according to Forrester Research.

In Brazil, the lack of readiness for mobile, the precarious 3G coverage and low penetration of residential wifi are the main hurdles for further development of mobile commerce in the country, says the e-Bit report.

But forecasts in terms of connectivity in Brazil are positive: Within five years, 68 percent of the Brazilian population will have access to the internet (142 million people, up from 81 million in 2013), with an average of 3.1 connected mobile devices per person, according to research by Cisco.

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