Describes how widely eCommerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce 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: 9/21/2018

According to the e-Ebit Webshoppers report for 2017, e-commerce in Brazil grew by 7.5% in 2017 compared to 2016, closing the year with revenues of US$ 12.9b. Despite the recent economic downturn in Brazil, projected growth of e-commerce is still positive at 12%, and is expected to reach US$ 14.4b (R$ 53.5b) in 2018. In Brazil, 55 million consumers made at least one virtual purchase in 2017, representing an increase of 15% compared to 2016; making e-commerce a viable sales channel worth exploring.

In Brazil, the average e-commerce purchase (average cart price) for 2017 was US$ 115.95 (R$ 429), 3% higher than the previous year. This number is projected to reach US$ 120.54 (R$ 446) in 2018. There were 111.2 million online purchases in 2017, an increase of 5% over the previous year. It is estimated that the number of purchases will increase 8% in 2018, resulting in 119.7 million online purchases.

The Brazilian Consumer and Retail Association estimates that in 2018, e-commerce sales will account for approximately half of retail sales in Brazil, and nearly 44% of these online sales are done via mobile apps. Despite the continued growth, the e-commerce market in Brazil can be incredibly difficult for U.S. companies due to challenges involving customs, taxes, shipping, and payments.

Current Market Trends

According to the e-Bit Webshoppers 2018 report, the most profitable industry sectors for online shopping include mobile (21.2%), electronic appliances (19.3%), computers (18.9%), home and decoration (8.4%) fashion and accessories (6.1%), cosmetics/health/vitamins (4.8%), sports and leisure (4%), automotive (2.3%) and food and beverage (2.2%).

Cross-Border E-commerce

U.S. B2C firms seeking to reach online Brazilian consumers from the United States should proceed with caution. Brazil is a cost sensitive market and has high import taxes. Direct sales from foreign countries, including the United States, are subject to customs and duties regulations. Although Brazil has made substantial progress in reducing traditional border trade barriers (tariffs, import licensing, etc.), rates in many areas remain high and continue to favor locally-produced products.

Brazil is on the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office Special 301 Watch List. This designation reflects the agency’s concerns with respect to high levels of counterfeiting and piracy in Brazil, including internet piracy and online sales of counterfeit goods. It is important to be aware of this when buying or selling content online.

Businesses that locate online content infringing on their rights can contact Internet Service Providers (ISPs) hosting said content to attempt to resolve their concerns. Businesses can also contact Brazilian enforcement authorities to explore potential criminal action. With respect to potential civil actions, businesses should be aware that generally ISPs will not be found civilly liable for damages resulting from content generated by third parties. Therefore, companies should be aware that their civil actions against an ISP, based on online sales of counterfeit goods, may not be successful. On the other hand, ISPs that host content infringing on copyrights or neighboring rights may be found civilly liable if the ISP does not remove content in a timely matter after notice has been given by the rights holder. The legislation in this area is still developing in Brazil, so companies may wish to consult local counsel if they have concerns.

Businesses seeking to market in Brazil also may wish to consider registering their trademark(s) as domain name(s) ending in “.br,” the country-code top-level domain (TLD) for Brazil. Registering trademarks in country-code TLDs may be helpful in establishing a local market presence. Defensively registering trademarks as domain names also helps ensure against cybersquatters, i.e., bad actors that register others’ trademarks as domain names in bad faith. Domain names typically can be registered for future use, thus preserving the company’s options for expansion. The .br TLD, unlike some country code TLDs (ccTLD), has an administrative dispute resolution policy for addressing cybersquatting. Court litigation also remains an option for instances of cybersquatting. For more information on e-commerce IPR, please visit the World Intellectual Property Organization website at:

Online Payment

Brazilians often pay in installments. In 2017, about half (49.8%) of e-commerce sales were made in one payment, the remaining 50.2% were made in installments. In the same year, 18% of purchases were made in 2-3 installments and 31.5% were made in 4-12 installments. For more information on installments, please see the Trade and Project Financing Chapter below.

Payment methods are complex and varied in nature. In 2017, 64% of online consumers used credit cards, 16% used Paypal, while 20% used payment slips (Boleto Bancario). Security continues to be a concern particularly regarding online fraud. Most Brazilians do not carry international credit cards, so international transactions can be challenging for both residents and visitors. While visitors have relatively few problems using credit cards at hotels and tourist venues, the same is not true for online purchases. Those wishing to pay for services such as airline or movie tickets online often encounter barriers, as many Brazilian websites do not accommodate international credit cards. The most commonly accepted cards in Brazil are Visa and MasterCard with chip and PIN technology.

Mobile E-commerce

Mobile internet use has skyrocketed in Brazil in comparison to traditional fixed-line online connections. In 2016, there were 109.7 million mobile phone internet users in Brazil, which accounted for 61% of the Brazilian population, according to the latest statistics published by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

According to ABComm (Brazilian Association of Electronic Commerce), roughly 31% of consumer goods were bought in 2017 using mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Faced with continuing growth in e-commerce, U.S. companies looking to sell in Brazil should prioritize the mobile experience for customers.

Major Buying Holidays

Brazil has five holidays where retail sales increase:

·       Christmas

·       Mother’s Day: second Sunday in May

·       Valentine’s Day: June 12

·       Father’s Day: second Sunday in August

·       Easter

There are four other major retail dates: Carnival, Children’s Day (October 12), Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

Principal Business Associations

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Brazil eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce