Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through ecommerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through ecommerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and, reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 9/30/2019
Electronic Commerce opportunities have significantly increased between 2016 and 2018 through the use of the internet and smartphones. The percentage of individuals with access to the internet increased from 61% in 2016 to 85% in 2018-- these Peruvian users are spending an average of 3.6 hours on their smartphone per day.
The latest Datum study reveals that of surveyed individuals using the internet, 23% of the respondents said they bought online, which is 20 points more than in 2016; furthermore, 49% said they used their smartphone to acquire services. On the other hand, the participants who claim not to have made online purchases showed 17% used applications from financial institutions to make a transaction, 9% ordered food through a delivery service, 6% bought tickets to the cinema through an app, 3% bought in supermarkets, 5% bought air tickets, among others.
Current Market Trends
Online purchases are projected to increase even further, since 26% say they will buy the same or more than last year and only 16% believe they will buy less, and the remaining individuals answered that they were unable to determine their future decisions. This information depicts a change in consumer behavior; consumers are more willing to try new products and services, but at the same time, if the experience is not up to their standards, they will not use the service again.
There has been a monumental change in the digital life of Peruvians. Some consciously and others not, but the reality is, that it has significantly increased the online shopping experience. If the trend continues, companies should focus their efforts on improving the experience and on increasing services and promotions, since those who want to boost electronic commerce must differentiate their online offer from the offline offer.
Domestic eCommerce (B2C)
Several domestic e-marketplaces are taking advantage of eCommerce opportunities in Peru. Some of the most popular sites being those that follow:
Mercado Libre: Online platform in Latin America and Portugal for buying and selling a wide range of items. It has two types of accounts: free and paid.
OLX: Classified ad platform present in 114 countries, especially in emerging markets, which puts buyers in contact with sellers.
Linio:  A platform where many different suppliers sell a wide range of products. Available in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama.
Falabella: Department store with a presence in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay, and Brazil. Belongs to the SACI Falabella group and their main business areas are clothing, accessories, and homeware retail.
Ripley: Chilean chain of department stores, with presence in Chile, Colombia and Peru. Its main businesses are clothing, accessories, and homeware retail.
Platanitos: A group that sells fashion, especially footwear and accessories, by Platanitos Boutique and other brands. Available in Peru.
Wong: Peru’s largest supermarket chain. This website allows for ordering via internet from local and foreign-based consumers for local delivery.
Rosatel: Rosatel allows online orders of flowers and gift baskets.
B2B eCommerce
For B2B eCommerce, businesses are beginning to use their own custom email domain servers instead of using an informal personal email address (Hotmail or Gmail) to conduct business. This new trend of owning one’s own email domain servers allows Peruvian businesses to legitimize their online presence.
eCommerce Services
There have been advances in the use of the internet in several Peruvian government institutions, including the tax collection agency, SUNAT, the public registry, SUNARP, and the Peruvian state-owned bank, Banco de la Nación (which handles the Treasury accounts). Additionally, the National Elections Bureau, ONPE, is testing electronic voting and improving internet usage.
The consumer expects different prices and offers as opposed to promotions created to deplete a stock. The Datum survey participants noted that making purchases electronically is preferred over visiting the store. At the same time, they expect variety and simplicity, as navigation can be a barrier at the time of purchase. Additionally, it is important to highlight other benefits that promote online access and electronic commerce purchases. For example, delivery companies or taxi services have managed to convey differential advantages that have quickly resulted in their growth. These changes are a reality and growth is usually exponential once technological adoption occurs. Companies should be looking at how to take advantage of this situation and strengthen this channel.
Intellectual Property Rights
With regards to Intellectual Property (IP), Peru has signed the World Intellectual Property Organization Treaty and the 1996 Interpretation and Phonograms Treaty. Within the framework of the United States – Peru Free Trade Agreement there is a chapter on Intellectual Property that includes aspects of IP such as brands, geographical indications (GI), Internet domain names, innovation, and technological development. It also seeks to protect the moral and economic rights of the authors who own the intellectual property. The aspects covered in the chapter of Intellectual Property of the United States - Peru Free Trade Agreement were incorporated into national legislation through the Law No. 29316 on January 14th, 2009. However, Peru remains on the U.S. Trade Representatives section 301 “Watch List” since 1992 because of continued high piracy rates, inadequate enforcement of IP laws, and weak or unenforced penalties for IP violations.
Online Payment
The Peruvian government has established a special task force, E-Gob Peru focused on online payments. It is managed by the National Office of E-Government and Information Technology (ONGEI) under the President of the Council of Ministers. This office is continuously developing Gov2Citizens solutions for tax payments, and providing information on customs and foreign trade, as well as Gov2Gov transactions to reduce expenses within different agencies. Operational services include a citizen ID service portal and business-assistance services for small and medium-size companies. Additionally, the Peruvian government is implementing an Electronic Procurement System (SEACE: Sistema Electrónico de Adquisiciones y Contrataciones del Estado) with a goal of improving transparency and efficiency of government purchasing.
Mobile eCommerce
Peru has the lowest smartphone utilization among the main economies in Latin America, but estimates show e-commerce purchases to reach 57% by 2020. It has been projected that 6.2 million Peruvians will acquire a smartphone by 2018 and 10.1 million Peruvians will own a smartphone by 2019. In 2015, according to the latest report of ASBANC, the number of mobile banking transactions in national currency with debit card and account transfers reached 109,233 in January and 198,210 in February of that year.
Digital Marketing
Currently the main means of digital marketing in Peru are:
  • E-mail marketing
  • Social networking sites
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Publicity (banners) in search engines
In 2013, 56% of online shoppers reached vendor sites through social networking sites. Additionally, according to recent surveys, the main retail companies plan to develop mobile marketing strategies.
Major Buying Holidays
Since 2012, the Lima Chamber of Commerce of Lima promotes “Cyber Monday” which takes place on the Monday after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. “Cyber Monday” usually occurs in late November or early December. Additionally, the Lima Chamber of Commerce promotes “CyberMami” held on Peruvian Mother’s Day which is the second Sunday in May. Some companies, like Saga Falabella, a large retailer, also launch their seasonal offers like “Madrugo” which take place at the arrival of a new season. In the travel and tourism sector, tour packages and promotions with pre-determined dates occur around major Peruvian holidays such as Christian Holy Week, Peruvian Independence Day in July, and the New Year’s Holiday.

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