Main Takeaways about Chile’s E-Commerce Market
Despite recent challenges, why the future looks bright for online shopping
Director – E-Commerce And Payment Methods Specialist
Chile is unusual compared to the other Latin American markets we’re tracking in that its B2C e-commerce sales volume went down in 2022, according to the Cámara de Comercio de Santiago (Santiago Business Chamber or CCS). The CCS reported that e-commerce retail sales in Chile totaled US$10.4 billion in 2022, versus US$11.9 billion in 2021, which represents a drop of 13%.
Among the reasons that the CCS cites for the drop between 2021 and 2022:
- A decline in consumer demand due to the decrease in income from emergency subsidies and pension withdrawals
- High inflation and interest rate increases
- The return to purchases in physical stores
Despite this drop, Chile’s 2022 e-commerce retail sales total of US$10.4 billion is still much higher than sales totals in 2020 (US$9.4 billion) and 2019 (US$6 billion
So far, the numbers for 2023 are not encouraging. According to the Cámara Nacional de Comercio (National Business Chamber or CNC), in Q1 2023 retail e-commerce sales in Chile dropped by 32.3% in comparison to Q1 2022. The CCS reported a drop of 18% for the same period. However, the CCS is optimistic that overall in 2023, retail e-commerce in Chile will bounce back to grow by 5% and post sales of US$11 billion.
Below we highlight some key data from PCMI’s 2023 E-Commerce Data Library and other sources in order to offer financial services, marketing and ecommerce professionals a deeper understanding of Chile’s e-commerce market in 2023.
2023 Growth Forecast for E-Commerce in Chile
Driven by our proprietary methodology (which includes transactional data to maximize accuracy), PCMI projects that overall e-commerce in Chile (B2B and B2C) will grow by 16% in 2023.
PCMI further forecasts that Chile’s e-commerce market will grow with a CAGR of 18% between 2023 and 2026 to reach a total volume of US$56.3 billion.
While this overall picture is important, focusing on the consumer behavior delivers a deeper understanding of the market drivers.
How They Buy
According to PCMI’s E-commerce Data Library, the primary payment methods that will be used by e-commerce shoppers in Chile in 2023 are:
- Internationally-enabled credit card: 56%
- Debit card: 16%
- Bank transfers: 13%
- Digital wallet: 7%
- Domestic-only credit card: 3%
- Cash vouchers: 3%
CCS’ data regarding payment methods used in Chilean e-commerce differs from PCMI’s and breaks down as follows:
- Credit card: 29%
- Debit card: 44%
- Digital wallet: 8%
- Prepaid card: 7%
- Bank transfer: 6%
- Cash (upon delivery of product): 6%
Another key aspect of the purchase process is the device used. According to PCMI:
- 40% of Chileans make e-commerce purchases using a desktop
- 60% of Chileans 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 for Chile in 2018, with 72% of purchases being made with a desktop and 28% with a mobile device.
What They Buy
The CCS does not list a ranking of the best-selling products in Chile’s e-commerce market. Instead, it listed what appear to be market shares for different product categories:
- Apparel: 46%
- Footwear: 30%
- Food: 25%
- Technology: 24%
- Beauty and personal care: 21%
- Sporting goods: 15%
- Accessories: 14%
- Health: 14%
- Appliances: 13%
- Cleaning products: 12%
However, Statista reported a list of the most popular products sold via e-commerce in Chile in 2022, which were:
- Consumer electronics
- Handbags and accessories
- Cosmetics and personal care
- Foods and beverages (not including food deliveries)
- Medicines and health products
- Furniture and home décor
What They Do
Here’s a quick look at some tendencies and behaviors among Chile’s e-commerce shoppers:
- 75% of Chile’s e-commerce shoppers buy online because of the convenience, 45% do so because of the speed and 38% shop online because of the ability to compare prices and products
- A Mercado Libre study published in 2022 indicates that product categories with the most sales growth in Chile included clothing (56% increase), tools and construction (16% increase) and tickets to concerts and shows (16%)
- 9 of 10 Chilean e-shoppers plan on making at least one purchase using a supermarket app during the next 6 months
- 32.7% of Chileans reported that they recently ordered groceries via an online store, while 19.1% used an online price comparison service
- 57% of Chileans say they distrust making purchases via social commerce, according to a survey from the media agency Initiative
While the data shared here can be helpful, both payments companies and ecommerce companies may benefit from a deeper dive into Chile’s e-commerce data, which they can obtain by acquiring the PCMI E-commerce Data Library for Latin America.
The Library covers not only Chile but also 14 other countries in Latin America, featuring e-commerce market data such as:
- Historical volume of Chile’s e-commerce market for 2022, 2021 and further back
- Projections of Chile’s e-commerce market volume for 2023-2026
- Breakdowns by merchant vertical for e-commerce in Chile: retail, travel, ride-hailing, digital goods and services like streaming
- Data on both cross-border and domestic e-commerce purchases in Chile for 2022 and projections for 2023 and beyond
- Breakdowns and projections of payment methods used in Chile 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:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.