The country has the fourth highest number of online users in Latin America. During 2014 alone, shopping online grew by over 40%. What’s more, in the same year, online transactions totalled $3.5bn. The growth has become so marked, that it has attracted the attention of both home and overseas companies who want to tap into a large and growing marketplace.
Driving the surge in online shopping is the ever increasing smartphone penetration (around 20%) and greater access to the internet (now nearing 29 million). This is helped by users who like the convenience that online shopping provides, especially given the time-poor lifestyles of many Colombians.
Other factors which have helped the rise of internet shopping is the Financial Inclusion Bill which has just been passed by the Congress in Colombia. In effect, it creates an easier environment for people in Colombia when it comes to e-Commerce transactions, especially for those who live in rural areas.
The figures show that online shopping has been most embraced by women (50.1%) in the 25-to-34-year-old and 45-to-55-year-old ages groups. Most popular products by category bought online includes electronics and computers (43%), fashion (34%) and entertainment (31%).
But, problems still exist as internet shopping expands, and most relate to suspicions about the security of online money transactions and distribution. This could be helped by individual brands doing more to reassure their customers about their site’s security and refining the distribution network with more delivery incentives.
Most importantly, the figures show that although Colombia is recognised as a potential boom country regarding e-Commerce – which might yet overshadow Brazil and Mexico – the market is still in its infancy.
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