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Brazil had the highest number of internet users in Latin America in 2011, followed by Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Paraguay, according to a study by Hamburg-based market research firm yStats.com.
Over the next few years, the number of online shoppers in Latin America is expected to grow 20% annually, and e-commerce revenue is expected to increase to US$30bn by 2013.
In Brazil, the number of online shoppers has experienced double-digit growth, with more than 20mn people making online purchases in 2010. Shopping is one of the most popular activities for 80% of Brazilian internet users.
In line with this trend, B2C e-commerce revenue has rapidly increased in the country. In the first half of 2011 alone, more revenue was generated than in all of 2008. Household appliances; computers; and health, beauty and medicine were the leading product categories in the first half of 2011. In September, the most successful e-commerce retailers were BuscaPé, MercadoLivre and B2W.
In Argentina, the number of internet users reached more than 26mn in 2010. Travel and tourism; consumer electronics; and food, drinks and cleaning products ranked as the most popular product categories, while Falabella and MercadoLibre were the most successful players in this market.
Internet users in Mexico are very young, with almost 40% under 18 years. Plane and bus tickets; entertainment tickets; and hotel reservations were the most popular product categories in 2010.
In Chile, B2C e-commerce revenue increased from 2009 to 2010 by more than 30%.
In Colombia, travel websites were visited by more than 3mn people in June 2011. But there is still much room for growth, given that 5% of internet users shopped online in 2010.
In Ecuador, there were almost 4mn internet users in 2010, with Almacenes de Prati being one of the most successful B2C e-commerce players.
Paraguay remained one of the least established B2C e-commerce markets in 2010, since only 20% of the population used internet. Education and learning, information searches, and communication were the most frequent activities cited by online users.
In Peru, only 13% of all households had internet access in 2010. In this context, with a still underdeveloped B2C e-commerce market, Supermercados Wong was the biggest player in this segment.
In Uruguay, half of all users were using the internet on a daily basis, and in 2010, there were almost 400,000 online shoppers. Computer accessories and consumer electronics were the leading product categories.
In Venezuela, the number of internet users totaled nearly 20mn in 2010. But, according to the report, B2C e-commerce is still not widely established due to the fact that the population has limited access to information and communication technologies.