Exploring Colombia’s E-Commerce Market in 2023 and Beyond

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Current figures, market drivers and why it’s expected to grow by nearly 300% in the coming years

Andreas Farge

Director – E-Commerce And Payment Methods Specialist

Colombia has kicked off 2023 with a powerful upward surge in e-commerce: online sales went up by 24.1% during Q1 vs. Q1 2022 and reached a total of COP$15.1 trillion (US$3.8 billion). Reported by the Cámara Colombiana de Comercio Electrónico (Colombian Chamber of E-Commerce or CCCE), this Q1 2023 sales total is 83.2% higher than the country’s Q1 ecommerce sales in 2021.

This growth in 2023 comes after a reported 38.4% growth in e-commerce sales in Colombia in 2022.

Below we share strategic data about Colombia’s e-commerce market.

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Growth Forecast for E-Commerce in Colombia

Driven by our proprietary methodology, which relies significantly on transactional data, PCMI projects that e-commerce in Colombia will grow by 30% in 2023.

PCMI further forecasts that Colombia’s e-commerce market will grow with a CAGR of 27% between 2023 and 2026 to reach a total volume of US$87.3 billion.

While this overall picture is important, focusing on the consumer behavior delivers a deeper understanding of the market drivers.

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How They Buy

According to PCMI’s E-commerce Data Library, the primary payment methods that will be used by e-commerce shoppers in Colombia in 2023 are:

  • Internationally enabled credit card: 39%
  • Bank transfers: 32%
  • Cash vouchers: 8%
  • Debit card: 7%
  • Digital wallet: 4%
  • Buy Now Pay Later: 4%
  • Domestic-only credit card: 3%

CCCE’s data regarding payment methods differs from PCMI’s, as does its methodology. For Q1 2023, the organization indicates that the top payment methods used for e-commerce in Colombia are:

  • Credit/debit card: 56.5%
  • Bank account debit: 37.5%
  • Cash: 6.0%
  • Transfer: 18%

Another key aspect of the purchase process is the device used. According to PCMI:

  • 24% of Colombians make e-commerce purchases using a desktop
  • 76% of Colombians make e-commerce purchases using a mobile device

Historical data from PCMI (included with the purchase of to PCMI’s E-commerce Data Library for one country or multiple countries) shows that the percentages were significantly different in 2018, with 56% of purchases being made with a desktop and 43% with a mobile device.

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What They Buy

The CCCE does not include a breakdown of best-selling products and instead reports on share of e-commerce sales for different verticals. For Q1 2023, the CCCE reports the following categories as leading in share of e-commerce sales in Colombia:

  • Retail (other): 15.5%
  • Technology: (14.8%)
  • Financial services: 12.9%

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What They Do

CACE’s survey data is helpful to understand e-commerce consumer behavior/preferences in Colombia, such as:

  • 28% of Colombia ecommerce shoppers made in-app purchases in 2022
  • Top onsite motivators to buy include product variety (35%), competitive pricing (32%) and visible prices (31%)
  • 55% of Colombia’s ecommerce shoppers are repeat buyers: they had already made a purchase from the site they last bought from
  • 33% of Colombian ecommerce shoppers engaged in cross-border e-commerce in 2022, compared to 38% in 2021
  • 98% of Colombia ecommerce shoppers are satisfied with their shopping experience
  • 8 of 10 Colombian ecommerce shoppers searched for online information to make offline purchases
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Go Further

While the data shared here can be helpful, both payments companies and ecommerce companies may benefit from a deeper dive into Colombia’s e-commerce data, which they can obtain by acquiring the PCMI E-commerce Data Library for Latin America.

The Library covers not only Colombia but also 14 other countries in Latin America, featuring e-commerce market data such as:

  • Historical volume of Colombia’s e-commerce market for 2022, 2021 and further back
  • Projections of Colombia’s e-commerce market volume for 2023-2026
  • Breakdowns by merchant vertical for e-commerce in Colombia: retail, travel, ride-hailing, digital goods and services like streaming
  • Data on both cross-border and domestic e-commerce purchases in Colombia for 2022 and projections for 2023 and beyond
  • Breakdowns and projections of payment methods used in Colombia e-commerce (international/domestic credit cards, Buy Now Pay Later, digital wallets, Pix and others

And much more.

But other key advantages make the PCMI E-commerce Data Library for Latin America a uniquely powerful tool for companies that seek a fuller understanding of e-commerce in the region:

  1. It’s customizable to client needs: you can obtain additional data you need for your company’s specific business concerns, beyond what the Library offers
  2. It’s budget-friendly: while detailed reports are available for 15 Latin American countries, you can just buy data on just 1 or save money by purchasing a country bundle
  3. It includes personalized guidance: every purchase of the Library entitles you to a free 1-hour consultation about the data with one of PCMI’s industry experts
  4. It offers unlimited sharing: there is no single-user license with the PCMI E-commerce Data Library for Latin America, so you can share it freely with your organization

Next Steps

Contact us to find out more about what the Library offers, how we can customize it to your needs and how you can purchase it.

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Andreas Farge
Andreas Farge

Andreas Farge is a Director at PCMI. He manages the creation of the most comprehensive database on e-commerce and payment methods in Latin America, as well as the execution of multi-country research studies.

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