As computers become more accessible in rural parts of Latin America, shoppers in that part of the world are increasingly going online to buy the items they want, according to a new study.
E-commerce exploded in Latin America last year, increasing by nearly 40 percent, with sales reaching $21.7 billion, reports AmericaEconomia Intelligence, the organization that conducted the study. Shipments from the United States increased 18 percent.
There are still several challenges facing online sellers looking to expand into Latin America—for instance many people in Latin America have yet to open bank accounts, and some postal services offer less-than-stellar delivery. Despite these obstacles, e-commerce in the region could increase by 27 percent this year, the study suggests.
The main benefactors of last year's growth were airlines and large retailers like Wal-Mart, but small and mid-sized sellers also reaped the benefits, the report notes. For instance, buyers clamored to sites like Amazon.com to buy electronics such as iPads, computers and mobile phones, which tend to be more expensive in Latin America.
"When the iPhone came out in 2007, we received an enormous amount of orders for the new device from Latin America," reports Paul Gartland, CEO of SkyBox, a service that helps international buyers export items from the U.S.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.