Ranked as the 8th richest country, with a population of approximately 207.65 million people, Brazil creates the right environment for internet stores to thrive – especially as future projections look great.
There are other positive factors as well. The middle class makes up a big percentage of Brazil's population. The local goods market is also somewhat expensive, making Brazilians less price-sensitive. This has created adequate pricing potential for those interested in doing business in Latin America.
However, considering their fierce protection of local markets and high import taxes, it's not uncommon for overseas sellers to encounter problems shipping to Brazil.
In this guide, we'll share why the Brazilian market is worth selling and shipping to despite potential roadblocks in delivery.
Brazilian E-commerce Market Growth
Even though the economy has been a little shaky, eCommerce has continued to exhibit encouraging growth.
A recent study by PagBrasil has shown that by the end of 2017, Brazilian e-consumers spent approximately $14.5 billion shopping online. The numbers continue to be eye-opening: there are over 65 million eCommerce users in Brazil, and by 2021, an additional 28.2 million eCommerce users are expected to join.
There is also a projection that in 2019, the average revenue per user in Brazil will be $130.16. This is an encouraging outlook for e-store owners, both within and outside Brazil.
A Closer Look At Brazil’s eCommerce Landscape
Research has shown that internet penetration in Brazil is approximately 58.3% and is expected to reach 61.3% by 2021. About 83% of these e-shoppers access the internet via desktop while 8% shop from smartphones and 4% from tablets.
Here are the percentages of daily internet usage, broken down by age group:
- 92% of people aged 16-24
- 92% of people aged 25-34
- 94% of people aged 35-44
- 79% of people aged 45-54
- 81% of people over 55
Further studies have also shown Brazil as maintaining over 40% of the total share of cross-border consumer market in Latin America. This makes it the strongest among other geographical locations in Latin America. As the number of companies that ship to Brazil increase, sales are projected to continue growing over time.
Popular Online Marketplaces
Just like other countries, Brazil has its fair share of popular online marketplaces. Although Amazon is starting to influence Brazil's eCommerce scene since it made its entry in 2012, there are still other competitor marketplaces that continue to thrive.
Here are the ones you can consider selling on:
- Mercado Libre
- Magazine Luiza
- Cia Digital
What Brazilians Like to Buy Online
From household appliances to mobile devices, Brazilians definitely have their preferences when it comes to shopping.
Fashion is rated to be the highest purchased product category and accounts for approximately $6.36 billion market share.
Other categories that are popular include:
- Telephone/Mobile – 21.2%
- Household appliances – 19.3%
- Electronics – 10%
- Information technology – 8.9%
- Home and decoration – 8.4%
In the previous years, household appliances used to take the lead after fashion but presently, telephony/mobile now leads.
Best Time of Year to Sell
Here are the best periods to sell to in Brazil:
- The first three months of the year (January through March). There are lots of discounts this period, up to 50%, and people always take advantage of this to shop more. It is also back to school period and more of back-to-school items are sold.
- March 8 Sale: In order to honor the International Women’s Day, there is a 24-hour discounted sales offer on March 8. This is usually done by local online retailers.
- March 15: This is Consumer’s Day and shoppers are offered huge discounts, prompting them to buy more.
Other periods that see a rush in online purchases include Brazilian Free Shipping Day (April), Mother’s Day, Brazilian Valentine’s Day (June 12), Father’s Day, Children’s Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Why shipping to Brazil is expensive
The numbers show how promising Brazil's eCommerce market is. However, one issue that companies outside Brazil may experience are shipping costs.
The Brazilian government is very protective of local businesses and it shows on their tax and duty rates. To start, the tax and duty threshold is $0, which means everything gets taxed 19% immediately. (Documents, books, and collectibles are the only category where the duty percentage is 0%.)
Items in the fashion and toy categories are also hit the hardest - on top of getting taxed 19%, they will also be subject to an additional 35% for duty.
To see Brazil's import duty rates for a particular item, sellers can check out our Countries page for more information.
Finding Companies That Ship to Brazil
While you may be experiencing sticker shock due to the high cost of shipping to Brazil, don't let it discourage you from shipping to Brazil altogether.
From our experiences shipping to Brazil, we've noticed the following:
- Express couriers such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL tend to have higher shipping rates and include additional service fees compared to local couriers.
- Packages sent through express couriers seem more likely to be held up in customs and searched. However, we are not sure why this is the case .
- It seems that you can access cheaper rates by using a postal solution or shipping with a local Brazilian courier. Additionally, shipments seem to have less problems in customs when being handled by postal or local couriers.
At Easyship we work with a variety of couriers that service Latin America, such as Global Post and Skypostal.
To find additional rates and to easily compare your courier options to Brazil, we highly recommend using our Get a Quote feature.
The future looks bright for eCommerce in Brazil. While shipping there can be costly, there's still hope as Brazilians are not price sensitive, are open to cross-border shipping, and are grateful whenever an overseas seller is willing to service them.
If you're looking for the cheapest shipping to Brazil, we recommend getting a quote on our system so you can not only compare couriers altogether, but can also see the exact tax and duty amount that the customer will need to pay.
Lastly, we also suggest purchasing insurance for your parcels, as Brazil has a higher risk for returned shipments. Easyship data from 2018 showed that Brazil had a return shipment rate of 3.98%, compared to the US (which was our most shipped to country) at 0.06%.
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