Dr. Glenn Gearhart CEO of World Market Vendor Services, Inc. provides News and Commentary

Are you there yet? Why Not South America?

Part VI - World Market Brings You South America!

In my six part marketing series: “World Market Brings You,” I always reiterate Retail Rule Three: “The world needs your product- get it to them!”

Second, I remind everyone there are seven continents - Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America.  Other than Antarctica, each represents a unique consumer marketplace that, with the help of World Market and payment by PinPay, is awaiting the arrival of your products.  Are you there yet?  We make it simple, so why NOT?

Market Expansion
Review these facts, do a little market research, and then try to convince me you should not be selling your products in South America! 

Product Presentation Delivery and Online Sales:  Except for Argentina with a 67% internet access rate, and Chile with 60%, Columbia 56% and Uruguay 56%, internet access rates in South American counties are around 40% or below.1 REF

Broadband internet service is more prevalent in the larger cities and with limited access in many rural areas.  If you are interested in country specific details about broadband service status or related internet access, see the South America market research – Telecommunications Market reports.2

But given these lower Internet accessibility rates; the continent still has 213 million internet users and an active base of eCommerce customers.  About 80 million of these users speak Portuguese and the balance, 133 million, speak Spanish.

Economic Status:  The South American continent is just beginning to obtain the infrastructure and broadband network services to enjoy and utilize eCommerce.   The consumer acceptance for eCommerce is there, they have the demand, and the hold back was the broadband infrastructure.

Argentina saw a 50% increase in eCommerce sales between 2010 and 2011 and according to the Cámara Argentina de Comercio Electrónico (Argentine Chamber of E-Commerce or CACE), estimates eCommerce sales in 2012 will grow by another 41% over 2011.3

The research firm e-bit reported that 53.7 million eCommerce purchases were made by Brazilians in 2011. In addition, in 2011 there were 9 million new eCommerce customers making a purchase for the first time online, and 61% of them were from the emerging middle income customer base.  According to the Cámara Colombiana de Comercio Electrónico (Colombian Chamber of E-Commerce), Colombia eCommerce sales will grow by 100% in 2012.3

Clearly, eCommerce in South America is still in its infancy.  However, online shopping is showing signs of accelerating growth. Regional retailers such as Americanas, Submarino and Shoptime have been aggressive in expanding their online presence to attract new online buyers. 4

More than half of South America’s eCommerce sales come from online buyers in Brazil, the continent’s largest economy. Brazil has a large internet population and an increasingly accessible broadband infrastructure. The country has also seen an increase in mobile internet users in recent years, which has helped propel the up-tick in the country’s eCommerce sales. Consumers in Brazil are experiencing an increase in disposable income, and show a higher incidence of credit card usage compared to other countries in South America.4

Question:  Brazil is currently one of the world’s five hottest growing economies.  If they are growing then their consumers are buying.  If they are buying should you be offering them your products? 

Continent Core Numbers:

Number of counties: 15 5

Population (2012 est.):  463.3 million5,6

Number of Internet users (6/12 est.):  213.1 million5,6

Other facts: See by each South American continent country in CIA Handbook and other reference sources.5,6

Your Objections to South American Expansion are:

Correct, except for Brazil, in general, South American middle and lower income customers do not have large amounts of discretionary income.  However, you do not need everyone to buy your products to make it advantageous to sell into South America.  Start with a few countries and expand your market footprint when you are ready.  When you are ready, adding another South American county to your World Market sales store takes about 5 minutes and there are no new fees.

Yes, they speak either Spanish or Protégées.  English is at best a second or third language.  In response, remember World Market offers product presentations in 66 languages, and if a buyer has the money and really wants your product, they will find a way to buy it and it will be with online CASH!

Accepted, you do not have any warehouses in South America.  We offer the services of many shippers that will professionally deliver your products any where in the world, including throughout South America.

No one will want your products.  In a continent with 15 countries and a total population of almost one-half billion, are you serious?  If you utilize your World Market sales store and offer a quality product for a fair price, you will find buyers.

If you have more objections, click on Support Center and submit a ticket to the sales team and they will be happy to assist in finding an acceptable solution.

The South American market is an emerging eCommerce opportunity that is growing every day.  In time it will be a major market.  It is wise to get in early and clearly 213 million customers is worth pursuing.  We are here to help- let’s move on it!

South America



2 http://www.internetworldstats.com/south2.htm

3 http://latinlink.usmediaconsulting.com/2012/05/e-commerce-in-latin-america-spikes-by-nearly-43-percent/

4 http://www.emarketer.com/(S(t1dbt545e1mlujiknbqcinbo))/Article.aspx?R=1009339#OkFWjxz9J14ZdYzw.99

5 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/wfbExt/region_soa.html

6 http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm