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Latin America Poised for E-Commerce Boom

Posted on May 27, 2014 by Alexander Diegel

Latin American Countries Poised for E-Commerce Boom

When Ebay, and its subsidiary payment method, Paypal, launched Spanish versions of their sites earlier this month, the moves turned some heads. Had one of the e-commerce giants finally decided to tap into the largely under-utliized markets in various Latin American countries? The answer, it would seem, is a resounding, “yes.”

Ebay had already reported over two million users in these areas, and that was while Spanish shoppers were using an English site and American currency. With the Latin American population estimated around 600 million citizens, Ebay and other online retailers have barely touched the surface of the potential represented by this market.

As Mario Chavez, Software Engineer and Head of Business Development of Mexican-based Crowd Interactive, pointed out, “e-commerce is, in many ways, still virgin territory in Latin America." Using Mexico as an example, Chavez cited security concerns as a reason why half of Mexican consumers chose to buy outside of Mexico. It is easy to see why Chavez believes, “there is a large opportunity to attract a huge consumer base in Latin America.”

The customization of Ebay’s site to better suit the native tongues and currency of both shoppers and retailers alike can help sellers tap into the potential represented by Latin America, and could set up the smaller and mid-size retailers for greater success. However, there are a number of rough edges to be smoothed out before merchants can truly see the benefits of Latin American e-commerce.

“In the midsize and small retailer areas, companies still do not have, or are struggling to enact, an e-commerce strategy,” Chavez explained. One reason is that “there are not many integrators that offer a reliable e-commerce platform that communicates well with [the] current systems used in their physical stores.”

“The [retail] scene is very fragmented,” added Gert Findel, CTO of Acid Labs. “Every country has its own payment gateway and shipping services, mostly monopolistic [or] oligopolistic, primitive technologies and/or interfaces, and private or on-request documentation,” Findel continued.

While the numbers point to the potential for huge success in these countries, the aforementioned challenges will make it difficult for e-commerce startups to efficiently manage the logistics necessary for success. Managing logistics and creating custom e-commerce integrations is something that the Spree Commerce Hub specializes in, and can help retailers get the most out of the Latin American e-commerce market. But don’t just take our word for it.

“[The] Spree hub can be positioned in Latin America as the only way to integrate to a long-term solution for vendor-agnostic communication to payments, fulfillment, ERPs and invoicing; and [represents] the most express road to internationalization,” Findel explained.

In an effort to promote its global customer base, Spree has continued to advance the storefront’s built in internationalization capabilities, and has more improvements as multinational stores become more and more of a focus. Click on the link to learn more about our automated e-commerce solution, or request a free demo today!

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