Venezuela - eCommerce Venezuela - eCommerce
Venezuela’s electronic commerce sector is expected to grow due to increasing Internet penetration, development of the legal framework, and improved capabilities of banks to provide secure transactions. However, the economic crisis and government restrictions on foreign exchange for online credit card purchases have had a negative impact.
Current Market Trends
The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index estimated 65 percent of Venezuelans (roughly 20 million people) were Internet users in 2017. CENCOEX reduced the limit on currency conversions for overseas online credit card purchases from $400 to $300 per year per individual, further restricting participation in e-Commerce by Venezuelans who do not have overseas bank accounts. Only GBRV-owned banks are authorized to disburse hard currency. However, most allocations have stalled due to the government’s lack of hard currency.
Barriers for e-commerce growth include a significant number of Venezuelans without bank accounts, exchange controls, and an outdated Internet platform in need of upgrade. However, many Venezuelans increasingly rely on credit cards as a way of dealing with rapid inflation and the logistics of carrying large stacks of banknotes to make basic purchases. Since 2017, even credit card and online transactions in the local currency have become increasingly challenging since many banking systems and transfer limits have been unable to keep up with hyperinflation. Frequent electricity outages in many parts of the country also inhibit eCommerce.
Online marketing has been limited due to the country’s economic problems, as internet speeds remain some of the slowest in Latin America and consumers have limited opportunities to buy new technology, including smart phones, tablets, and computers.
Social media use is prevalent in Venezuela and is preferred over traditional media outlets, which are heavily restricted by the government.Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.