Q&A

New launches of payment and shipping services will depend on market volume

Bnamericas Published: Friday, October 11, 2013

MercadoLibre is the leading e-commerce platform in Latin America. As well as its traditional marketplace, the company has developed a payment solution dubbed MercadoPago and has recently developed a shipping service called MercadoEnvíos.

To find out more about these services, we talked to the firm's general manager Federico Procaccini.

BNamericas: How was the first half of the year for MercadoLibre in Latin America?

Procaccini: We had a very positive first half in the region with almost 38mn transactions channeled through our platform, which represents an increase of 20% compared to the previous year. These transactions generated a volume of approximately US$3.2bn, an increase of nearly 20% compared to the same period last year.

BNamericas: And how was the performance in the Argentine market?

Procaccini: Measured in local currency, our revenues expanded by 62% in Argentina in the first half of the year compared to the same period the previous year. This growth was mainly driven by increasing transactions in our traditional marketplace but was also due to the increasing penetration of MercadoPago, which is our payment platform. Many people are accessing the e-commerce market in Argentina and they need a solution to charge their customers and MercadoPago is positioning itself as the leading payment platform in the country and Latin America.

BNamericas: What is the penetration of MercadoPago in the Argentine market?

Procaccini: It is difficult to measure MercadoPago’s penetration. What we can say is that the transactions channeled via MercadoPago in Argentina expanded by nearly 60% in the first half of the year compared to the year-ago period. We also can say that we are growing above the market average in this segment.

BNamericas: Where are you currently offering MercadoPago? Are you planning to launch it in additional markets?

Procaccini: MercadoLibre has operations in 13 markets across Latin America and MercadoPago is currently present in six markets namely Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. Brazil is key for us in terms of volume but Argentina is the most mature market for the company in terms of penetration of MercadoPago. We decided to launch MercadoPago in those markets where e-commerce activity is more mature. The positive thing here is that the solution is becoming more sophisticated and is already very well developed, so we can launch it in additional markets when we decide it is the right time.

BNamericas: What can you tell us about the development of the shipping solution MercadoLibre Envíos?

Procaccini: Last year we decided to launch the service in Brazil in association with the postal firm Correios and after that we launched it in Argentina. The service in Argentina was launched in March this year in association with local private mail firm Oca. These are the two markets where MercadoLibre Envíos has presence right now.

BNamericas: Are you expecting to add additional partners for this service in both markets?

Procaccini: In Argentina we recently added a same day shipping service with a private firm. This service is offered in Buenos Aires. In terms of volume, our shipping platform is not yet very significant in terms of penetration but we are seeing that many sellers are adopting the service.

BNamericas: How important is the mobile channel for MercadoLibre at a regional level?

Procaccini: The mobile channel is very important for us as it already represents approximately 10% of our overall traffic. The most mature markets for us in terms of the mobile channel are Brazil and Argentina. We expect this channel to experience very significant growth in the future.

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