Much has been said about the ways in which the COVID-19 outbreak has been altering social and economic interactions around the globe and how society is adopting a “new normal” lifestyle. But not all things will change, and Brazilians, in particular, seem to be committed to their preferences on payment methods, and even to their online purchasing habits in a post-pandemic scenario.
In Brazil, 89% of consumers who buy from international websites are not changing their usual payment method because of the virus. Even buyers who opt for “boleto bancário”, a cash-based system which is popular in the country, do not intend to shift to cards or any other method. Also, 53% of Brazilians who buy from cross-border platforms at least once every 3 months say they will keep or even increase the frequency of doing so during the pandemic.
These are some of the figures revealed by The Influence of COVID-19 on International Online Shopping in Brazil: Purchase Intent and Payment Preferences, an exclusive survey EBANX conducted about the influence of COVID-19 on online shopping. In Brazil, 1.525 people took part in the study answering questions from April 28th to May 4th.
Among people who spent up to BRL 30 per month on international websites before the COVID-19, the average spending was BRL 22.87. Now, during the pandemic, it remained practically the same, at BRL 22.57. But the intention is to rise to more than BRL 26 in a post-pandemic scenario. Among those who spent BRL 40 to BRL 60 per month, the average was just over BRL 50. During the pandemic, it dropped to BRL 40.54. The intention for the post-pandemic is to rise to more than BRL 42, according to the study.
“These results point out to an intention of recovery, albeit gradual, of the appetite of Brazilian consumers. And this is very significant considering the impact of the pandemic on global trade and the economy of all countries in the world,” analyzes André Boaventura, partner and CMO of EBANX.
Frequency in digital purchases from international sellers will likely be kept stable or grow amid the pandemic, but the average ticket Brazilian consumers are willing to spend in each acquisition may slightly decrease due to the crisis. In Brazil, respondents actually said they have already reduced their spending from BRL 79 to BRL 61, a tag they expect to keep in the post-pandemic scenario.
The relevance of boleto
According to the EBANX survey, boleto bancário – a Brazilian payment method that allows payment with cash – is still a very important option for Brazilians who buy on ecommerce. More than 34% of all survey respondents said they normally chose to pay their international purchases with it before the pandemic. The preference for this payment method was always above 30% among all family income ranges, except for the highest one – and even in this range, the preference was not small: 22%.
The survey also shows that the majority of Brazilians who paid for their international purchases with boleto before COVID-19 said they would not change the payment method during the pandemic (86%).
What changed in the current scenario was how they pay it: 67% of Brazilians who were already buying on international websites with boleto before COVID-19 stated that they will choose an online payment experience to pay the boleto during the pandemic. This behavior may be the result of social distancing measures, with restricted operation at many lottery stores, bank branches and other places authorized to charge these amounts in the country.
In addition to the boleto, installments also appeared as an important payment method, regardless of the family income range: almost 54% of all respondents stated that they prefer to pay for their international purchases with installments during the pandemic.
Intended purchases are being kept basically toward the same products, apart from a drop of 14% observed in the Apparel and Beauty segment. Nevertheless, this category still figures in the Top 3 planned purchases, as well as Electronics/Mobile Phones and Home Decor/Home Appliances.
“Even in a scenario of global restrictions on commercial flights and measures of postal services around the world – which impact the transport of international parcels and delivery times – many Brazilians, with all family income ranges, are perceiving international websites as a good option for their needs”, concludes Boaventura.
You can access the full report here.