The e-commerce market in Colombia is growing at an annual rate of 20%, which is higher than the average for Latin America. However, the market is still relatively small, accounting for only 6% of total retail sales in the country. The most popular online shopping platforms in Colombia are Amazon and eBay.
All About E-commerce in Colombia
Overall, shoppers in Colombia prefer to purchase items offline rather than online. However, the market is snowballing, and several promising new entrants could change this trend in the future. Overall, e-commerce is proliferating in Colombia, but it still has a long way to go before it can rival traditional retail sales.
Why Do Colombians Shop Online?
The main reasons for buying online in Colombia are the high cost of goods and the lack of brick-and-mortar stores. These factors make online shopping a more attractive option for Colombian shoppers. Additionally, online retailers in Colombia often have better inventory than their offline counterparts, which means that customers can find more variety when they shop online.
Additionally, since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Colombians are finding themselves shopping more online. As much of the world shut down and everything ground to a halt, the country, too, started buying things on the internet.
The Land of Opportunity?
The opportunities for e-commerce in Colombia are promising. The country has a large pool of consumers who are potential online shoppers. Seeing as the number of internet users in the country is growing at a healthy rate, the market is only going to expand further. As of 2019, 65% went online. However, that number was only 36% in 2010. If the trend continues, we’ll see a 100% internet adoption rate soon enough.
In addition, the e-commerce industry in Colombia is benefitting from increased investment in the technology sector, making it easier for customers to navigate through online stores. Overall, e-commerce in Colombia is ripe for growth, and there are plenty of opportunities for online retailers to take advantage of.
The Many Challenges Standing in the Way
As many Colombians are still more comfortable with in-person shopping, they are often unfamiliar with online shopping platforms. This means they face difficulty navigating the e-commerce stores and finding the products they’re looking for. Additionally, e-commerce in Colombia is still relatively new, which means that there are very few established players in the market. This lack of competition makes it difficult for online retailers to compete on price.
Finally, infrastructure issues, such as poor internet speeds and a lack of mobile coverage, can pose a challenge for online shoppers in Colombia. With poor infrastructure comes a lack of trust. Customers feel reluctant to shop online for fear of hackers stealing their payment information and so on.
The Strategies for Online Retailers
It’s evident that the government has to work together with financial institutions, e-commerce platforms, and other relevant players to build a more robust digital ecosystem. Without a proper and trustworthy infrastructure in place, shoppers will not dare venture into unknown territory. Perhaps learning more about Columbia proxies will help the population feel more secure about buying things online.
Additionally, retailers need to look into a sound delivery system to lower the costs of shipping goods. Colombia can take a page from Indonesia’s book. In the populous Southeast Asian country, a player rising in the ranks is Gojek, which started as a motorcycle delivery company. Recently, it merged with Tokopedia, an Amazon equivalent, and its success is only at the tip of the iceberg.
Beyond that, e-commerce businesses have to get creative with their offers and marketing strategies. They should look into expanding their reach beyond the traditional urban centers. By widening their customer base, retailers will tap into a broader range of potential buyers.
Those who shop online in Colombia are relatively wealthy and lead a reasonably good quality of life. If you are trying to tap into the e-commerce market, it’s clever to focus on the popular item categories. These include travel, technology, fashion, home furnishing, and beauty products. However, since these categories are most in demand, they are also the most competitive.
To get a piece of the growing pie, figure out how you can reduce your operating, management, and logistics costs. It also helps to develop a good product inventory. Once you do that, whatever e-commerce category you delve into will prove to be a successful venture.