Expert Insight into Latin America’s Online Retail

Adriana Poên of Facebook kicks off the Oath stage online retail discussion with some perspective: While 10% of US retail sales are online, only 1.9% of retail sales are online in Mexico. While the consumer journey has changed, and the consumer is more demanding as they have more information from online, often the new brand discovery is online, for example on Facebook. While in Mexico the online conversion from advertising to sales is still lagging, the brand journey for the consumer is seamless from a Facebook ad to the brand, building a brand-relationship with the consumer that translates to sales either in the brand’s app or in a physical store.

NIKE’s Ana Lizz Pardo agreed, saying NIKE is still working on aligning the right product ad with the consumer at the right time. While a consumer might click through an online product advertisement, it does not translate to an immediate sale, or even a sale of that exact product. While online advertising may not be an immediate translation to sales in Mexico, they are finding it is still imperative to getting a brand’s story in front of the customer.

Giovanna Marquez of Nielsen warns against over saturating the consumer with digital ads and creating a white noise around the brand. Nielsen finds that consumers can get fatigued to a brand’s campaign, creating a negative reaction. Giovanna agrees with Adriana’s assessment that while the US has a lot of online retail success, in Latin America digital is more for experience and research. Online retailers still need to develop trust with online consumers, in particular with online payment methods. In Latin America, cash is the main payment method, with over 70% of sales. Adriana adds that there is more trust in mobile purchases via a retail company’s specific app. Brands can leverage the consumers pain-point of in-store retail lines and waiting to promote online purchases.

Amir Shub of Smartly.io advises that retailers should mimic their in-store retail experience in their online UX to build more trust in consumers. Amir says that, while Amazon has put a lot of money into online sales, research, and data, retailers still need to test out what will work for them. Amir insists retailers should test, test, test to see what works, in contrast to Giovanna’s statement there is the data already to make an informed move to better online retail success.

Overall, the panel did agree there’s still a lot work to be done to incentivize growth in Mexico’s online retail ecosystem.

Becky Johnson

Writer at Advertising Week

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