Mexico - eCommerceMexico - eCommerce
According to the Mexican Internet Association’s latest available data, the Mexican eCommerce market had a value of USD 17.6 billion in 2016 and grew at an annual rate of 28.3 percent. The market will continue growing because of improvements in connectivity, enhanced financial inclusion, more streamlined logistics, and increased digital literacy. Multichannel brick-and-mortar (brick-and-click) retailers have reportedly seen their online sales grow to account for 25 percent of overall sales. In 2017, there were 79 million internet users, representing 67 percent of the population over the age of six. Surveys conducted by the Mexican Internet Association in 2018 indicate that 75 percent of internet users report engaging in eCommerce within the previous three months.
Current eCommerce Market Trends
Apparel and accessories lead the categories of reported online purchases, followed by digital downloads, event tickets, and travel. PayPal, debit cards, and personal credit cards are the preferred methods of payment. However, due to a low rate of financial inclusion, many online retailers offer payment alternatives such as cash payments at convenience stores. The top incentives for online shoppers are secure payment options, free shipping, interest-free monthly payment plans, and a guaranteed return policy. There is a growing trend towards purchasing through mobile devices.
Popular eCommerce Sites
Online marketplaces such as www.mercadolibre.com.mx, www.linio.com.mx and www.amazon.com.mx are widely used. Additionally, some brick-and-mortar retailers have been very successful in expanding their eCommerce sales. Among the most popular are www.walmart.com.mx and www.liverpool.com.mx.
Domestic eCommerce (B2C)
Online marketplaces such as Amazon, MercadoLibre and Linio are among the most popular sites used for domestic eCommerce in Mexico. Amazon opened its first Mexican storefront and fulfillment center in 2015 and launched Amazon Prime in 2017. Local department stores have expanded their online operations. However, buyers still report a higher number of purchases from international retailers.
Sixty seven percent of Mexican online shoppers reportedly purchased from international retailers in 2016, and 75 percent of those purchases were made on U.S. sites. Even though Mexico’s current de minimis level of USD 50 is much lower than the de minimis of USD 800 in the United States, cross-border eCommerce has benefitted from a simplified customs clearance regime for low-value express commercial shipments. However, new regulations proposed by the Mexican tax authority, known as SAT, could result in additional requirements that would make express delivery shipments to Mexico more difficult and costly for U.S. companies. (The International Chamber of Commerce Customs Guideline #11 defines de minimis as a valuation ceiling for goods, including documents and trade samples, below which no duty or tax is charged, and for which clearance procedures, including data requirements, are minimal.)
There is little B2B eCommerce activity in Mexico. Some start-ups, mostly from the United States, have focused on U.S.-Mexico B2B eCommerce, but they have not gained much traction thus far.
Mobile eCommerce is growing in Mexico. It is estimated that 31 percent of online purchases are conducted through mobile devices. Buyers access their social networks predominantly through mobile devices, and growth of mobile transactions has also been driven by the popularity of ridesharing networks.
Both international and domestic companies support eCommerce start-ups of established retailers that want to expand to online sales. They provide services such as search engine optimization, inbound marketing strategies, lead nurturing, and marketing automation.
eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights
Products sold online are covered by Mexico’s Federal Copyright and Industrial Property Law. The law also protects online original content and domain names.
PayPal is the most popular method of online payment, followed by debit cards and personal credit cards.
Social Media and Digital Marketing
Use of social media is widespread in Mexico. It is the most popular online activity, followed by e-mail. Facebook is the most used social network, followed by YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Shoppers are highly influenced by advertising on social networks and the growing trend toward mobility will likely increase this influence. Mexican buyers report being highly influenced by social networks when making their purchases. Shoppers go online to conduct price comparisons, research product features, or find nearby stores before making purchasing decisions.
Major Online Buying Holidays
Retailers report the highest number of eCommerce sales during the December holiday season. The second largest event is ‘Hot Sale,’ an initiative of the Mexican Association of Online Retailers where eCommerce vendors offer significant discounts over three to four days. It is held in late May/early June. The third largest online shopping event is ‘El Buen Fin,’ a full-weekend promotion adopted by most Mexican retailers modeled in part after Black Friday in the United States and held in mid-November. Other major buying holidays are Cyber Monday and Mother’s Day.
Mexico eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce