El Buen Fin is one of the biggest retail holidays in Mexico, and this year it will play an important role in rebounding Mexico’s economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The event, which usually takes place during a weekend, will now happen throughout 12 days (from November 9th to 20th), and it is likely to attract seven out of ten Mexican online consumers, according to a survey with 1,752 online shoppers, carried out by the Mexican Association of Online Sales (AMVO, its Spanish acronym).
“The new consumer base has been growing in Mexico due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People who choose online channels to stay away from (contagion) risks, trying to avoid primary contact with other people,” Daniela Orozco, Head of Research at AMVO, told LABS – 41% of those interested in buying a product or service during this year’s event will do so through the internet, which makes the digital channel a crucial one.
Also according to AMVO’s survey, for a third of those interested in El Buen Fin, this will be the first time they will buy online during the event. In general, Mexicans use El Buen Fin to seek discounts in stores that offer a wide variety of products and services.
As more than half (53%) of consumers will consult multi-category sites or visit the website or app of the store or brand that they are interested in, AMVO highlights the role of social media and the El Buen Fin website itself as the most relevant sources of information during this year’s edition.
“It is really good for brands to start knowing what type of demand they’re going to have on their online channels and be prepared for it. Doing simulations with logistics, inventory and times of delivery. It’s not a moment anymore, I think this [e-commerce sales] is becoming the new normal,” told Orozco.
What Mexicans are going to buy during El Buen Fin
Half of those interested in buying online during El Buen Fin plan to acquire electronic and fashion items. AMVO report highlights Mexicans interest in buying higher-end items online, such as home appliances and furniture during this edition.
According to Orozco, this is happening also because the consumers’ preferences are changing in comparison to what happened in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If in the first weeks of the isolation measures, categories related to essential goods, such as food, groceries, and cleaning items, became more relevant, now AMVO started to see other non-essential categories resume growth, such as fashion, sports, and the already mentioned home appliances and furniture category.
Generally, categories focused on beauty and care, and clothing (fashion and sports) are the most acquired by digital channels.” It’s possible to see the evolution of users growing from the first measurement that we made in March. It is (something) very aligned with what we saw on a more behavioral view,” says Orozco. According to her, at the beginning of the pandemic, AMVO saw a sharp increase in the number of visits to e-commerce websites, which reached a peak during the Hot Sale event, in July, and then stabilized at a high level, with an average weekly variation of 30%-34%.
According to AMVO, four out of ten businesses expect their online sales to grow more than 50% during this year’s event. For El Buen Fin, the report set a forecast of 30% e-commerce share vs total sales this year, but Orozco goes beyond that:
“In the Mexican market, there is a lot of preparation for Buen Fin because for us El Buen Fin kinda substitutes Black Friday. Since Buen Fin now is going to last 12 days, a lot of the Christmas purchases are going to happen in this event,” said Orozco, adding that the Mexican Secretary of Economy has an agreement with the Secretary of Employment to make the Christmas bonus available for workers in advance so that people can use it for El Buen Fin.
How Mexicans plan to pay for El Buen Fin purchases
In this edition of El Buen Fin, most of AMVO’s survey respondents said that they will pay for their purchases with credit cards. Orozco points out, though, that AMVO has seen a relevant offer increase of payments through digital wallets and cards from retailers themselves compared to last year’s event.
Half of the respondents stated that they will spend more in the digital channel: 2 out of 10 plan to spend more than MXN 10,000 through this channel. In addition to that, 8 out of 10 consumers said that they feel safe when buying online.
The COVID-19 impacts
According to AMVO’s September report, two out of 10 Mexican businesses said that they have experienced a growth greater than 300% on online sales during the pandemic. By 2021, 19% of Mexican businesses expect that e-commerce will account for more than 30% of their total sales.
The negative impact on turnover of shops and brands has been declining throughout the pandemic, when 3 out of 10 companies have experienced growth in sales. “The financial impacts that were very strong at the beginning of the confinement are starting to cool off,” wrote AMVO.
Operational impacts have been less intense than in the second quarter. Currently, 3 out of 10 stores indicated to AMVO that they sell both in Mexico and abroad. However, 19% of them believe that, for the next year, international sales may account more than 30% of the total.