The arrival of new buyers on e-commerce platforms since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to major changes in purchasing trends, logistics, marketing and payment methods around the world. In Latin America in particular, e-commerce has been the salvation of many small and medium size businesses, which are the engines of the regional economy.
Amidst lockdown measures, economic disruption, and some of the world’s most severe COVID-19 outbreaks, e-commerce has been a source of significant resilience for businesses across the region’s economy, particularly in the retail sector.
Across our payment platform in Colombia for example, more than 20,000 SMEs have shown exponential growth in online sales due to the new developments in e-commerce during the pandemic. At a sector level, our data shows that verticals such as Furniture, Clothing, Food & Drink, and Hairdressers/Beauty Salons grew between 200 and 300% from January to July 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
Spurred on by this encouraging news, last fall PayU’s Colombia-based team took a broad-based look at the pandemic’s impact on e-commerce across six markets where we are active in LatAm (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru). This summary collects the lessons that have been learned and the challenges that still lie ahead for the sector.