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: 10/17/2019

According to the Mexican Internet Association’s latest available data, the Mexican eCommerce market had a value of USD 21 billion in 2017 and grew at an annual rate of 20 percent. The market is expected to continue growing because 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. In 2018, there were 82 million internet users, representing 71 percent of the population over the age of six. Surveys conducted by the Mexican Internet Association in 2018 indicate that 60 percent of internet users report engaging in eCommerce within the previous three months.

Current eCommerce Market Trends

Transportation services lead the categories of reported online purchases, followed by digital downloads, event tickets, travel, and apparel. Debit cards, and personal credit cards are the preferred methods of payment. However, due to a low rate of financial inclusion, many online retailers offer payment 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. The Mexican Central Bank (Banxico) mandated all financial institutions with over 3,000 clients to provide commission-free payments via quick response (QR) code on their mobile applications starting September 30, 2019.

Popular eCommerce Sites

Online marketplaces such as www.mercadolibre.com.mx, www.linio.com.mx and www.amazon.com.mx are widely used. Additionally, some brick-and-mortar retailers have been very successful in expanding their eCommerce sales. Among the most popular are www.walmart.com.mx and www.liverpool.com.mx.

Domestic eCommerce (B2C)

Online marketplaces such as Amazon, MercadoLibre 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, launched Amazon Prime in 2017, and opened a logistics center outside Mexico City in 2019. Local department stores have expanded their online operations. However, buyers still report a higher number of purchases from international retailers.

Cross-Border eCommerce

In 2016, the most recent year for which figures are available, 67 percent of Mexican online shoppers reportedly purchased from international retailers, and 75 percent of those purchases were made on U.S. sites. Mexico’s current de minimis level is USD 50, much lower than the de minimis of USD 800 in the United States. However, cross-border eCommerce stands to benefit from the ratification of the USMCA, as Mexico will continue to provide USD 50 tax free de minimis and also provide duty free shipments for values up to USD 117. 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 for which clearance procedures, including data requirements, are minimal.

B2B eCommerce

There is minimal 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.

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.

eCommerce Considerations

eCommerce Services

Both international and domestic companies support eCommerce start-ups of established retailers that want to expand to online sales. They provide services such as search engine optimization, 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.

Online Payment

Personal credit cards and debit cards are the most common methods of payment.

Social Media and Digital Marketing

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.  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. The growing trend toward mobility will likely increase this influence.

Major Online Buying Holidays

Retailers report the highest number of eCommerce sales during the December holiday season. The second-largest online shopping event is ‘El Buen Fin,’ a full-weekend promotion adopted by most Mexican retailers modeled in part after Black Friday in the United States and held in mid-November. The third-largest event is ‘Hot Sale,’ 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 Cyber Monday and Mother’s Day.

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