Latin America Ecommerce 2020

How COVID-19 Will Affect Growth and Sales in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico

About This Report
This report looks at the impact the coronavirus will have on total retail and ecommerce sales in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, as well as its effect on consumer spending on essential vs. nonessential goods and services.

Executive Summary

Latin America is no stranger to turbulent market activity, but the pandemic is unlike anything the region has seen before. As a result, we substantially revised our previous total retail and ecommerce forecasts to best reflect the rapidly changing landscape.

How will COVID-19 affect total retail sales in Latin America this year?

Physical store closures, coupled with government-mandated stay-at-home orders, will undoubtedly hurt retailers’ bottom lines this year. In turn, we significantly revised our total retail sales figures downward, falling 5.3% to $1.506 trillion.

What does the road to recovery look like for Latin America’s retail industry?

Recovery times will greatly vary by country due to each market’s unique set of circumstances, including its government’s ability to contain the pandemic and mitigate potential economic downturns. Overall, we expect total retail sales to return to their pre-pandemic levels by early to mid-2022.

How has COVID-19 spurred ecommerce adoption in Latin America?

The implications of the pandemic are far-reaching and signal a watershed moment for ecommerce in Latin America. We estimate that 10.8 million consumers will make a digital purchase for the first time this year. This will bring the total digital buyer count to 191.7 million, or 38.4% of the region’s population ages 14 and older.

How much will consumers spend on ecommerce in 2020?

Despite Latin America’s precarious economic situation, retail ecommerce continues to register strong double-digit growth. We expect that retail ecommerce sales will grow 19.4% to $83.63 billion. That’s nearly 7 percentage points higher than the 12.5% growth we previously estimated in our Q4 2019 forecast.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report explores the impact COVID-19 will have on consumer spending across total retail and ecommerce in Latin America, with breakouts and recovery scenarios for Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

KEY STAT: Retail ecommerce sales in Latin America will grow by an estimated 19.4% in 2020, propelled largely by the rise in online shopping during government-mandated consumer lockdowns from March through June.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Latin America Overview
  3. Argentina
  1. Brazil
  2. Mexico
  3. Key Takeaways
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

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Matteo Ceurvels


Rini Mukhopadhyay
Forecasting Analyst