A Growing Opportunity: eCommerce in Brazil – Part II: The Brazilian Online User


Brazil flag

Brazil represents the 5th biggest internet market in the world (internetworldstats, 2012) and the largest in South America; its online population of more than 88 million users is greater than the total population of France, Spain or the UK. The majority of internet users in Brazil is very young, with more than 60% of all users being less than 34 years of age (comeScore, 2013).

Brazilian Online User Behaviour

According to comScore (2013), consumers in Brazil spend more than 27 hours per month online on their PC (global average: 24.7 per month), representing the highest of all 8 LATAM markets. Most time online is spent for social networking, e-commerce (especially gaming and video streaming), and accessing price comparison sites. Brazilians spend a lot of time on posting/viewing online videos (the “video digerati.”). The number of videos viewed per viewer grew 18% in 2012, which accounts for an average of 129.3 videos/viewer. Google (YouTube) remains the king of online video in Brazil with an average of 83.8 videos watched per viewer in 2012. The rise of games is another important trend. Brazilians download twice as many games (8) as people in Germany, France or Britain.

Merits and Barriers of Online Shopping

Online Retail continues to grow in Brazil with the total number of category page views up 9 percent during 2012 (Source: comScore MMX). Online shoppers in Brazil will cite various reasons for their reliance on the web when making purchases, although the major factor appears to be convenience (94%). This statement is followed by the lower prices in online stores (74%), mainly due to the possibility to be able to actually compare prices easily and fast, and the fact that often there is no other adequate store available (15%).

Two kinds of barriers for online shopping have been identified by a 2012 McKinsey study: First, there is unwillingness among the consumers to wait for an item and the desire to touch and feel it – generous delivery policies and multi-channel options could be an answer to those kind of inconveniences. Second, up to 20% of Internet users who did not buy online in the last six months said they had had a previous bad experience. In general, Brazilian e-commerce sites rank at the top among Brazilian sites when it comes to consumer complaints.

Brazilians Highly Engage with Social Content

Social Media sites capture the largest percentage of consumers’ time in Brazil at 36%. comScore (2012) reports that the average Brazilian internet user spends 9.3 hours on social media sites per months. Facebook accounts for 92.8 % of the time spend on social networks and has therefore emerged as a strong leader in the category.

Future Outlook

Brazil’s internet penetration rate is 44 percent – half that of the United States – which leaves a lot potential for growth. Given the preference Brazilians have to browse the web through their mobile phones, it remains especially exciting to see how the rapidly growing smartphone penetration will further enhance the online time of Brazilian users.

About allpago international

allpago international operates as a payment gateway in Brazil serving merchants and payment service providers with its products and services.

allpago‘s features include one-click payments, recurring payments, instalments, dynamic descriptor and mobile payment solutions. The companys html 5.0 code allows multiscreen and is as easy to implement into the store through the “plug and pay” feature. Furthermore, the company offers a fully integrated Risk Management Solution with more than 70 checks. allpago has recently become the first LATAM payment gateway of the Merchant Risk Council (MRC).


comScore: Brazil Digital. Future in Focus 2013. March, 2013.

McKinsey&Company: Getting to know you:
 How Brazil’s consumers use the Internet. Consumer and Shopper Insights. March 2012.