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More than 61% of the Latin America 400 merchants are based in Brazil with Wine.com.br leading the charge as the largest online wine retailer in Brazil. Overall growth for all Latin America 400 merchants is clearly sustaining, as online sales increased by about 18.5%, from $13.00 billion in 2011 to $15.42 billion in 2012. This beats numbers reported in both US and Europe. U.S. web sales rose 16% in 2012 to $225.54 billion, and European sales also jumped 16% to $302.20 billion in 2012. Asia was the only online market to grow faster than Latin America in 2012 with an increase of 32%, pushing them to $256.50 billion (Forrester Research).
So the question is why? Researchers believe that part of the reason for Brazil’s (and thus, Latin America’s) successful growth is due partially to the fact that it attracts outside web retailers, including Chinese online retailer Light In the Box Ltd. The number of Latin American online shoppers is growing—and their demanding inexpensive consumer goods that can be sourced directly from Chinese manufacturers. As a result, online sales for Light In The Box (and likely others as well) are booming in Brazil.
In fact Latin America is the fastest-growing global market for Light in the Box. In 2012, Latin America web sales for Light In the Box were $12.9 million, up by about 214.3% from $4.1 million in 2011 and representing 6.4% of its 2012 total sales of $200 million. In comparison, sales in North America grew 46.8% to $48.0 million in 2012 while European e-commerce sales increased 75.1% to $101.4 million. But can this aggressive e-commerce growth in Latin America continue? Perhaps, but the currently undeveloped transportation infrastructure in Brazil may make it difficult. Time will tell and we will continue to keep an eye on this trend.