Analysts in Argentina are currently locked in a debate about whether the nation’s economy is experiencing genuine growth or just a post-pandemic rebound – but there’s no doubt that at least one sector cashed in on the pandemic cycle in a big way.
Argentina’s e-commerce sector is booming: in the first half of 2021, invoicing grew 101 percent against the same period last year, according to new data published by the CACE (Cámara Argentina de Comercio Electrónico) business chamber, based on the results of a study carried out by Kantar.
Among the headline takeaways from the Estudio MID 2021 report, released to mark the 15th edition of eCommerce Day Buenos Aires, more than 120 million products were sold online via 80.3 million online purchase orders.
Food and beverages, garments and domestic appliances (also including furniture and decoration) were the top three best-selling categories.
In its report, CACE explained that in the first half of this year e-commerce firms in Argentina invoiced 631.788 billion pesos, representing an increase of 101 percent over the same period in 2020.
The 120.9 million products acquired via 80.3 million purchase orders represents the fastest growth ever for e-commerce (47 percent up from MID 2020).
Among the notable findings: 16 percent of Argentines purchased online for the first time during the pandemic; Clients are mainly young (51 percent are aged between 18 and 34) and predominantly from lower socio-economic strata (65 percent belong to segment D).
“This reflects that we find ourselves in an increasingly mature and reliable industry with ever more Argentines picking the online channel and expressing great satisfaction with their online purchasing experiences," said CACE Director Gustavo Sambucetti, as he presented the report.
As for user trends, mobile telephones continue to be the favourite instrument for both searches (74 percent) and purchases (54 percent).
“We observe a major change in consumer patterns, last year most online purchases were made to acquire basic products for use inside the home while now buyers are more interested in acquiring services related to leisure and entertainment, thus triggering a huge projection of growth for these categories in the medium term,” offered Sambucetti.
What we’re buying – and how we’re buying it
The top five categories for e-commerce sales (per unit) in the first half of the year:
Food and beverages
Garments (excluding sportswear)
Domestic appliances, furniture and garden items
Accessories for cars and motorcycles.
In line with the consolidation of the category of food and beverages among the top units sold, 35 percent of Argentines said that they bought over half their mass consumer products online whereas before the pandemic only 15 percent said they did.
As for consumer preferences in terms of means of payment and logistics, credit cards continue to be the main means of payment chosen by users:
76 percent of purchases are paid with credit cards
Pay platforms continue to be in vogue with 64 percent of purchases carried out by this means (as against 59 percent in MID 2020) and 12 percent via Gateway
Cash on delivery or via pay outlets remained stable at 10 percent while debit cards and virtual electronic wallets (five percent) registered a slight increase
As for logistics, the home delivery of products continues to lead at 64 percent (as against 60 percent in MID 2020) while withdrawal from point of sale remained stable at 33 percent (the same as MID 2020).