Describes how widely e-Commerce 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: 9/14/2017

Overview

According to the Mexican Internet Association’s latest available data, the Mexican eCommerce market had a value of USD 16.2 billion in 2015 and grew at an annual rate of 59 percent. The market will continue growing as a result of improvements in connectivity, enhanced financial inclusion, more streamlined logistics and increased digital literacy. Multichannel brick-and-mortar (brick-and-click) retailers have reportedly seen their online sales grow to account for 25 percent of overall sales. Surveys conducted by the Mexican Internet Association indicate that 76 percent of internet users report engaging in e-commerce within the last three months.
 

Current Market Trends

Apparel and accessories lead the categories of reported online purchases, followed by digital downloads, event tickets, and video games. PayPal, debit cards and personal credit cards are the preferred methods of payment.  However, due to a low rate of financial inclusion, many retailers offer alternatives such as cash payments at convenience stores. The top incentives for online shoppers are secure payment options, free shipping, and a guaranteed return policy. There is a growing trend towards purchasing through mobile devices.
 

Domestic eCommerce (B2C)

Online market places such as Mercado Libre and Linio are among the most popular sites used for domestic eCommerce in Mexico. Amazon opened its first Mexican storefront and fulfillment center in 2015, and launched Amazon Prime in 2017. Local department stores have expanded their online operations. However, buyers still report a higher number of purchases from international retailers.
 

Cross-Border eCommerce

Sixty percent of Mexican online shoppers reportedly purchased from international retailers. In 2015, 64 percent of those purchases were made on U.S. sites. Despite the fact that Mexico’s de minimis [1] level of USD 50 is much lower than the de minimis of USD 800 in the United States, cross-border eCommerce has benefitted from a simplified customs clearance regime for low-value express commercial shipments. However, new regulations proposed by the Mexican tax authority, known as SAT, could result inadditional requirements that would make express delivery shipments to Mexico more difficult and costly for U.S. companies. 
[1] The International Chamber of Commerce Customs Guideline #11 defines "de minimis" as “a valuation ceiling for goods, including documents and trade samples, below which no duty or tax is charged and clearance procedures, including data requirements, are minimal.”
 
B2B eCommerce
There is little B2B eCommerce activity in Mexico. Some start-ups, mostly from the United States, have focused on U.S.-Mexico B2B eCommerce, but they have not gained much traction thus far. 

eCommerce Services
International and domestic companies support eCommerce start-ups of established retailers that want to expand to online sales by providing services such as search engine optimization and inbound marketing strategies, lead nurturing and marketing automation.

eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights
Products sold online are covered by Mexico’s Federal Copyright and Industrial Property Law. The law also protects online original content and domain names.

Popular eCommerce Sites
Online marketplaces such as Mercado Libre, Linio and Amazon Mexico are widely used. Additionally, some brick-and-mortar retailers have been very successful in expanding their eCommerce sales.  Among the most popular are Walmart and Liverpool.

Online Payment
PayPal is the most popular method of online payment, followed by debit cards and personal credit cards.

Mobile eCommerce
Mobile ecommerce is growing in Mexico. It is estimated that 31 percent of online purchases are conducted through mobile devices. Buyers access their social networks predominantly through mobile devices, and growth of mobile transactions has also been driven by the popularity of ridesharing networks. 

Digital Marketing
Mexican buyers report being highly influenced by social networks when making their purchases. Shoppers go online to conduct price comparisons, research product features, or find nearby stores before making purchasing decisions.

Major Buying Holidays
Retailers report the highest number of eCommerce sales during a full-weekend promotion adopted by most Mexican retailers called “El Buen Fin,” modeled in part after Black Friday in the United States and held in mid-November. The second  largest event is “HotSale,” an initiative of the Mexican Association of Online Retailers where eCommerce vendors offer significant discounts over three to four days. It is held in late May/early June. Other major buying holidays are Christmas, Cyber Monday, Mother’s Day, and Julio Regalado.

Social Media
Use of social media is widespread in Mexico. It is the most popular online activity, followed by e-mail. Facebook is the most used social network, followed by YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Shoppers are highly influenced by advertising on social networks and the growing trend toward mobility will likely increase this influence.
 

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.



Mexico eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce