Smartphones overtake desktops in orders in Singles Day in Brazil. Photo: Shutterstock

Held shortly before Black Friday, Singles Day sales were dominated by smartphones in Brazil

Ebit/Nielsen survey reveals that smartphones accounted for 52.8% of Brazilian e-commerce orders in the first 11 days of November

The results of the first 11 days of November–the period that included Singles Day, celebrated on 11/11, and the warming up of Black Friday–prove the smartphone’s leading role in Brazilian e-commerce. Ebit/Nielsen data show that 52.8% of orders were placed via mobile, 58% higher than in the same period of 2018.

Although referring to a warm and peculiar period of e-commerce, the numbers indicate that having a mobile strategy has become a condition for growth in Latin America’s largest market. They also reiterate Americas Market Intelligence (AMI) consultancy’s projection that mobile will surpass desktop sales in total spending by 2021 when it will account for 51% of the market.

Mobile and competitiveness

Compared to the same period of 2018, Brazilian e-commerce sales in the first 11 days of November 2019 registered a 21% increase in sales, 12% in the number of orders and 8% in the average ticket value. Considering only transactions made via smartphone, growth was even higher: 74% more revenues, 58% more orders via mobile and an average ticket 10% higher. 

Ebit/Nielsen head Ana Szasz explains that the leading role of smartphones in the period is largely explained by the fierce competition in the retail vertical. “We did a parallel check and we saw many sites offering free shipping on in-app purchases in response to Amazon Prime. (…) We see retailers moving so as not to be left behind”.

If analyzed in conjunction with other data – such as those related to consumers’ sense of security on the internet – the positive variation in mobile share indicates, according to Ana, that Brazilians feel safer to buy over the internet. “The security issue is already being overcome among Brazilians. We see that Brazil is in the global average [of safety rates when buying online]. The global average is 63% and our average is 62%, that is, we have already crossed the barrier of disbelief”, she says.

READ MORE: Smartphone: the present and future of Brazilian e-commerce

By 2022, Brazil is expected to increase the number of mobile connections by 40%, which requires companies to adopt a smartphone strategy. Remember that not every connection is of quality and not every smartphone is of the last generation in the country. One of the ways to make these consumers’ shopping journey is to develop lighter, more affordable tools.

“For niche e-commerce, it’s more worth to develop a mobile browser than an app. You will reach more agility. In some browsers, you don’t even realize you’re not in an app because they’re fast and easy to navigate”, she suggests.

Logistics and multichannel

The option to pick up the product from the store also gained prominence as a method to increase conversion rates in e-commerce. “All the stores that offered in-store pickup had growth. Just because it is offered, it increases conversion”, says Ana.

The expert cites an Ebit/Nielsen survey of consumers who chose to remove the goods in physical establishments. The survey revealed that 48% of them did not want or need to pay for shipping and that about 20% needed the products immediately.

“Both mobile and in-store pickup are forms of inclusion. In Brazil, this encourages people to buy”, she says.

With regard to logistics in Brazil, one of the big bets is in the processing of the Omnichannel Bill in the National Congress. The proposal is to reduce dramatically the multichannel bureaucracy in the country by facilitating, for example, opening a retail locker or registering a physical store as a pickup point.

READ MORE: Brazil is ready to reduce the bureaucracy of its omnichannel operations

Although many companies already operate multichannel – especially those with physical franchises – omnichannel still requires a number of bureaucratic processes to be effective. The Brazilian Association of Electronic Commerce (ABComm) estimates that, if the project were to be approved, sales in e-commerce would grow approximately 25%.

Loyalty and Partnerships

Ana emphasizes the importance of creating loyalty plans that can engage and retain the customer, which requires knowing their customs and preferences in detail with the help of data. “The first step is to ask your consumer permission to understand how he behaves within your business. Then you can enrich this data and do any other kind of analysis. Who is your consumer? What time does he buy? How does he buy? It is so rich and often companies fail to do so because they have not taken the first step, they think it is complicated”, she suggests. “You don’t need to start with the best loyalty program. Start with what’s feasible”, she says.

The expert highlights the loyalty strategies of delivery service companies such as Uber Eats and Rappi. “The biggest asset of these companies is that they are getting to know these consumers, so they give benefits (point-based achievement programs, cashback, delivery discounts). If they are doing it and it is working, [it is advisable] to think about it within your business”, she says.

In this sense, Ana also indicates the consolidation of partnerships between players, whether in logistics to ensure faster delivery of the product or in offering products from other categories to ensure greater and more diversified traffic on sites and applications.

“We see traditional clothing stores selling wine to increase the shopping frequency on the website. We also see clothing stores selling laundry products to bring a new category of customers to the website. There is a lot to explore”, she suggests.

Translated by Jennifer Ann Koppe