E-Commerce in Central America
Did you know that by 2015 $1.628 M were moved through Central American e-commerce businesses transactions? Yes, you read it right, one thousand six hundred and twenty-eight million dollars ( not too shabby).
Between 2013 and 2015, transactions rose by a 13%, increasing the margin from $1.217M to $1.628M, with Panama and Costa Rica leading as the top consumer markets.
Back in 2016, Vicente Echeveste, Vice President of Visa Products for Latin America, said in an interview with E&N, that Central America produces a higher annual growth than the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean. With Costa Rica leading the market with a consumption of $446M, and Panama following with a consumption of $446M. (2015 ciphers)
How and how much has e-commerce grown in Central America?
Let’s start from the beginning.
In order to purchase through an e-commerce site, what do you need first…? Correct! Credit cards!
From 2011 to 2015, with a 2% annual increase, the number of credit cards grew by a 9 %.
You’re probably wondering, how was this even possible? Afterall, many have said the Central American e-commerce boom would never happen. So we have listed some of the regional e-commerce driving factors, that have led to a higher demand for credit card use and e-commerce consumption, let’s break them down.
First things first, who are these Central American online-purchasing people? If you said millennials, you are 100% right! Millennials and young customers get started with a prepaid card and then banks move them on to credit card usage. However, millennials are no the only credit card holders in the picture, your average adult also owns credit cards and also purchases online.
According to many, e-commerce in the region would never happen because people didn’t trust it so what did banks and online businesses gave us? Customer education, the Central American customer now understands better how credit cards and e-commerce work.
Once the consumer understood the credit card and online world, the ball started rolling, so credit card and bank entities gave us loyalty programs, rewarding credit card usage with bonuses, flight miles, etc.
Price comparators appeared, and if you think that you don’t know what a price comparator is, just remember that Trivago Ad Campaign you saw about everywhere. The ability to compare prices online and get the best possible price increases the rewards of online purchasing.
At this point, Central America was discovering the e-commerce universe, meanwhile, Americans had mastered it, so they gave us Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas Sales, thus making the acceptance of the globalization of markets a need, not a choice.
Communication infrastructure played its part, from better internet services to the usage of social media. This new ability of, not only communicating but, directly measuring the results of a campaign investment incentivized companies to turn a big chunk of their mainstream media budget into digital campaigns. We can also thank this to the penetration of the use of smartphones, gluing everyone’s attention to the most accessible screen humans ever had at hand, their phone.
All things considered turned into the growth of user confidence, leading to more usage, leading to more e-commerce transactions.
And to wrap it up, if you’re wanting to know now which are the brands benefiting from this e-commerce madness I have listed some of the top e-commerce sites for you.
- The eCommerce leaders in the Tourism Industry: COPA AIRLINES: www.copaair.com
- Retail eCommerce leaders: SAMSUNG: www.shop.samsung.com/latin
- Entertainment and Media in eCommerce: PANATICKETS: www.panatickets.com
- IT services and solutions for eCommerce: DHL: www.dhl.com.pa/es.html
- Financial Services and Online Banking: NEQUI: www.nequi.com.pa
- Apparel and Fashion at eCommerce: LINIO: www.linio.com.pa
- Best eCommerce SME: OFERTA SIMPLE: https://ofertasimple.com
- Best Mobile initiative for eCommerce: NEKSO: https://nekso.io
The eCommerce leaders in the Tourism Industry:
- DROP OFF: https://www.despegar.co.cr
- ATRAPALO: https://www.atrapalo.co.cr
- TICABUS: https://www.ticabus.com/
- NATURE AIR: http://www.natureair.co.cr/
- Retail eCommerce leaders:
- SUBWAY: https://www.subwaycostarica.com/
- GOLLO TIENDA: http://www.gollotienda.com/
- CAFÉ BRITT: http://www.cafebritt.com
- TITI COMPRAS: https://www.titicompras.com/
- AUTOMERCADO: http://www.automercado.cr/
IT services and solutions for eCommerce:
- CINEPOLIS: www.cinepolis.co.cr
- BOLETERIA: http://www.boleteria.cr
- LA NACION: http://www.nacion.com/
- CENTRAL DE RADIOS: http://www.cdr.cr/
- TELETICA: https://www.teletica.com/
- CORREOS DE COSTA RICA: https://boxcorreos.com/
- PAGADITO: https://www.pagadito.com/
- PAYPAL: https://www.paypal.com/cr/home
- DHL: http://www.dhl.co.cr/es.html