New study points out recovery for digital sales in Mexico after pandemic

EBANX conducted a survey with more than 1,600 Mexican consumers of international websites. Results show that they will maintain or increase the average ticket and purchase frequency during and after the COVID-19 crisis

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A great share of Mexican online consumers intends to increase or maintain spendings on international websites during and after the COVID-19 pandemic period is over. More than half of respondents who buy from cross-border platforms at least once every 3 months plans to at least keep the frequency of doing so during the crisis. 

This information was revealed by an exclusive survey EBANX, a Brazilian fintech which is LABS‘ parent company, conducted about the influence of COVID-19 on online shopping. In Mexico, 1.660 people took part in the study answering questions between May 5th-18th. 

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The Influence of COVID-19 on International Online Shopping in Mexico: Purchase Intent and Payment Preferences study shows that almost 80% of Mexicans who are spending an average ticket of up to MXN 100 per month during the COVID-19 outbreak said they will maintain or increase their spendings once the pandemic is over. Among those with a higher average ticket now, of MXN 200, MXN 300, and MXN 400, the percentages are 44%, 42.8%, and 37.5%, respectively, according to the study that can be downloaded here.

“The intention of recovery shows up massively among the ones that are currently spending less. And even among higher average tickets, it is also really strong. Data like these point out that Mexican consumers are open and tending to restore their consumption habits moving forward,” said André Boaventura, partner and CMO of EBANX. “The pandemic is having a major impact in global trade and in the economy of all countries, so an intention of recovery like this one is very significant,” he added. 

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Frequency in digital purchases from international sellers may be kept stable, but the average ticket in general, including all respondents, slightly decreased due to the crisis. Mexicans intend to cut average tickets by 17% to MXP 296.99 after the outbreak.

The survey aimed to track the current behavior of consumers, considering social distancing measures and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico, in addition to having a perspective on how they expect to consume on international websites in the post-pandemic days. 1,660 people from across the country responded to the survey.

Even during the pandemic, consumers are seeking sales platforms

The appetite of Mexican consumers might be giving signs of recovery just now, during the pandemic. Frequency data of the research show that more than half (53%) of the ones who used to buy frequently from international e-commerce platforms – at least once every three months – said they will keep or even increase their shopping frequency during the pandemic. This is even more significant if you think that consumers with this shopping frequency represent almost 60% of all the survey’s respondents. 

A possible decrease in shopping frequency during COVID-19 is closely linked to household income. 39.6% of the ones with high income said their shopping frequency will decrease during the pandemic, just like 35.5% of upper-middle-class Mexicans. The percentages for lower-middle-class and people with low income are higher: 48.2%, and 47.6%, respectively. 

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“Although the percentages of decreased intention are high, they are no higher than 50%, which is very significant considering the economic impacts of COVID-19, pointed out Boaventura. “International e-commerce websites offer a great variety of quality products, from state-of-the-art smartphones to bed sheets. Even in challenging times, and with high exchange rates, they still offer competitive prices, being a good option for Mexican and other Latin American consumers, regardless of their family income. This is reinforced by the data collected in our research,” he completed.

Local payment methods are essential in Mexico’s e-commerce market

Among the 53% frequent shoppers that will maintain or increase their shopping during the pandemic, 8 out of 10 prefer to pay for it with a debit card or OXXO – a voucher that allows offline payment, with cash, at convenience stores. 

Almost all respondents of the survey (98.3%) said they will not change their usual payment method for online purchases on international websites during the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority (almost 82%) of all OXXO users declared they would still use it for international purchases even in a scenario of compromised working hours of OXXO convenience stores. And among the ones that would not continue to use it, the alternative was to give up the purchase for 42.4%. 

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Local payment methods like debit cards and OXXO play an important role in online purchasing in Mexico, regardless of the family income range. It was like this before the COVID-19 pandemic and it continues to be like this now. Making international shopping easier for Mexican consumers means offering these options,” Boaventura evaluated.  

Intended purchases are being kept basically toward the same products, apart from a drop of 13.5% observed in the Apparel and Beauty segment. Nevertheless, this category still figures as the top planned purchases, along with Electronics/Mobile Phones and Home Decor/Home Appliances.

Similarities between Mexico’s and Brazil’s markets’ recovery

At the end of May 2020, EBANX launched the Brazil edition of the study. And the findings show similar results between these two Latin American powerhouses. Like with Mexican online consumers, there is an intention of gradual recovery of Brazilian consumers’ appetite.

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During the pandemic, more than half (52.3%) of Brazilians who spent up to BRL 60 on international ecommerce before the COVID-19 foresee that they will maintain or increase spendings while the COVID-19 lasts. This is also true in terms of frequency: 53% of who shopped frequently on international websites before the pandemic (at least once every three months) declared they will maintain or increase it during the pandemic. 

“The intention of consumer appetite recovery shows in both markets. This is very significant in terms of recovery of the Latin American region itself, and is also important for global trade, considering that Latin America is the targeted market for international expansion of many global digital commerce companies,” stated Boaventura. 

The complete report may be dowloaded from here.