Brazil and Portugal Improve in On-line Shopping


Brazil was one of the countries that gained the most last year in preparedness to support online shopping, according to the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index, which also marks improvements for Portugal.

“Largely due to significant improvements in postal reliability”, Brazil had one of the largest increases in index scores for some developing countries, along with Algeria, Ghana and Lao PDR, which all saw their scores surge by at least five points, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) notes in the newly-released report.

Brazil rose 10 positions, to 62, in the ranking that calculates scores based on four indicators that are highly related to online shopping: account ownership at a financial institution or with a mobile-money-service provider, individuals using the Internet, Postal Reliability Index and Secure Internet servers.

B2C e-commerce sales in Brazil stood at USD 20 billion last year, a 7.6 per cent increase, according to Ebit | Nielsen data quoted by UNCTAD, which also points out that 7.3 million Brazilians bought for the first time over the internet last year.

The report also points to the wider growth of e-commerce in South America, with regional sites competing with major global companies – four of the five most visited e-commerce shops in Latin America are from within the region.

With almost 900 million site visits per month, Gross Merchandize Value (GMV) for the four largest LAC-based companies was USD 21 billion in 2019, up 11.5 per cent from the previous year.

Mercado Libre, the largest e-commerce platform is headquartered in Argentina with operations in 18 LAC countries and 44 million active customers in 2019, while B2W is a Brazilian group that operates the country’s largest online store as well a marketplace with around 47,000 sellers in 2019 and Casas Bahia is one of Brazil’s largest furniture andappliance retail chains that also sells online.

Ahead of Brazil in the ranking were China, unchanged at number 55, and Portugal, that rose 2 positions to number 42.

Also included in the ranking were Angola, that slipped 6 positions to number 122, and Mozambique, that remained at 136.

Led by Switzerland, the ranking´s top 10 includes two asian economies: Singapore at number 4 and Hong Kong at 10, a 4 position improvement, replacing Australia.

Similar to the 2019 index, eight of the top ten economies are in Europe but the biggest e-commerce markets are China and the United States, which ranks 12th.

“One reason (China and the US) are not ranked higher is that their scale is not factored into the index. Even if the two countries lead in a number of absolute measures they lag in relative comparisons. For instance, Internet penetration in the United States is less than any of the economies in the top 10 while China on this indicator ranks 87th in the world”, UNCTAD points out.

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