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Online sales in Brazil during the first half of the year totaled 12.7bn reais (US$5.2bn), up 24% year-on-year and representing 60% of all e-commerce transactions made in Latin America in the period, according to data from e-commerce consultancy E-bit, part of the Buscapé group.
Over 35.5mn transactions took place from January to June this year, an increase of 20% year-on-year. The average online purchase grew by 4% over the first half of 2012, reaching 359.49 reais.
E-bit's data has been gathered from 9,000 online retailers and is part of the company's regular WebShoppers report.
Fashion and Accessories led the segment, accounting for 13.7% of total sales in the period. It was followed by Household Appliances, with 12.3% of sales, Cosmetics and Perfumery with 12.2%, Computing with 9% and Books and Magazines with 8.9%.
E-bit estimates that the value of local e-commerce sales will reach 28bn reais by the end of the year, for a 25% increase from 2012.
The optimistic forecast of higher sales, despite an overall slowdown in consumption, is explained by the entry of new consumers to online commerce and by the increase in market share over physical stores.
According to E-bit, 46.2mn Brazilian consumers have made at least one online purchase to date, 3.98mn of which did so in 1H13. For the full year, the number of online shoppers is expected to reach 51mn, with 4.9mn being new buyers.
According to E-bit general director Pedro Guasti, e-commerce currently represents 3.5-4% of all Brazilian retail market sales, compared to 8-10% in the US.
The use of mobile devices for shopping is also growing. In H1, 3.6% of online sales were made from smartphones and tablets, compared to 1.3% in the same period last year.
Guasti estimates that m-commerce will make up 5% of all virtual transactions by the end of 2014.