Two managers from MercadoLibre, Carlos Cernadas, head of cross border trade and Maximo Bach, housewares buyer and category development manager, presented Latin America as a new growth channel through e-commerce. Mr. Cernadas joined MercadoLibre in 2016, after more than eight years of experience working with multinational corporations including Walmart, PwC and Deloitte. He earned a master’s degree in business from the London Business School. Maximo Bach joined MercadoLibre in 2008. As the corporate head of the home, garden, tools and industrial supplies categories, Mr. Bach leads the development of these categories through Latin America, aiming to bring new suppliers and brands to the platform.
MercadoLibre, established in 1999, maintains store locations in the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, El Salvador, Uruguay and Venezuela. It is the largest online retailer in Latin America, with more than 7.5 million sellers and 23.5 million buyers using the platform. Its online market shares are approximately 45% in Uruguay, 39% in Venezuela, 38% in Argentina, 31% in Brazil, 25% in Mexico and 16% in Chile. MercadoLibre has been listed on NASDAQ since 2007. Its buying office is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Commerce is Turning Digital in Latin America
Mr. Bach began by showing the rapid growth of ecommerce since 2014 in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and the rest of Latin America. In USD in billions, $33.4 in 2014 will grow to an estimated $59.8 in 2017, with Brazil taking the lead year after year. As the trajectory grows steeper to 2019, to an estimated total of $79.7, Brazil’s growth is forecast at roughly 12% since 2014, and other countries 23-28%. Online shopping in Latin America is 4% of total purchases vs. 10% in the U.S.
Comparisons of consumer buying preferences in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia, reveal that shoppers in all the countries are most motivated by price, followed by quality, service, variety and description.
Ranking product categories against the global average, U.S., Japan, India and China, Latin American consumers outpace other countries in the purchase of electronics and home appliances and are below the global average in purchasing household products and groceries.
Mercado Libre is a Key Partner in Latin America
MercadoLibre is the largest online retailer in Latin America with more than 27.7 million buyers and 9.4 million sellers using the platform. MercadoLibre is the 7th most visited retailer in the world, after Amazon, Alibaba, 306buy corporation, ebay, Apple.com and Walmart. This ecommerce leader in 18 countries in Latin America is a robust ecosystem is operated by 5,000+ employees. At least four items are sold online at MercadoLibre every second.
MercadoLibre is well-positioned to capture a significant market opportunity in the Latin American population of 635 million. In population size, Brazil +Mexico+ Colombia+ Argentina = U.S. population, but the Latin American market has much less competition. MercadoLibre is the gateway for motivating the non-banking population to buy online, and provides efficient financing and delivery through its operating divisions such as Mercado Pago, its payment system embedded in their site to process purchases. MercadoLibre is the predominant online retailer in six countries: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela. Since 2012, the company has enjoyed 41% growth in core metrics.
Of Latin America’s 350 million internet users, 200 million are online shoppers, of which 190 million are MercadoLibre registered users.
Home and Garden Categories
The presentation compared home categories of Bath, Kitchen, Bedroom, Décor, Lighting, Garden, Living Room and others as weighted in six countries: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Uruguay.
In FY2016, in the categories of Kitchen, Bathroom and Cleaning, 5 million items were responsible for $155M USD. Top products in these categories were cooking utensils, followed by tableware. The small appliance category enjoyed significant year over year growth, especially in the lower price range.
Cross Border Trade (CBT) Platform Benefits
MercadoLibre relies on simplicity through a unified platform for sales throughout Latin America; a single account serves all countries. MercadoLibre converts local sellers to international sellers.
Our merchant portal and seller experience manages product listings, sales and payments by country and handles questions. MercadoLibre does not compete with its sellers, but enhances the commonalities.
The buyer search experience highlights supply, ecosystem benefits for payment management, shipping solutions, translations. The platform fosters cross border trade and performs end-to-end solutions: suppliers can expose their products to 30 million buyers in Latin America. Service includes translations; payments in USD regardless of local currency, built-in tax calculations and an international logistics network for shipping. Suppliers retain control their brands and MercadoLibre brings the markets to them. Vendors list in English and the platform translates into the local language and facilitates the customer feedback.
Benefits of the Official MercadoLibre Store
In its 2500 stores, MercadoLibre positions the top-of-mind brands in most categories.
Suppliers retain their personalized brand space—with their own URL and differentiated product style within the MercadoLibre brand logo.
Learn more about MercadoLibre to expand your reach in Latin American markets.