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E-commerce has been showing positive and rising numbers in Argentina for many years. This also happened in 2022: there were more users, more purchase orders and more products sold. However, this growth was not sufficient for total billing for online purchases last year to outpace inflation. The explanation is that more people bought more, but cheaper services and products.

In addition to the general economic situation, with a decline in consumer purchasing power, other factors also explain this growth in billing below inflation last year: companies are offering less tiered financing – key to access to the most expensive products – and a lower supply of available products, due to import barriers. Two situations that particularly impacted the second half of 2022.

According to the annual report prepared by the Chamber of Electronic Commerce and the consultant Kantar Insights, with surveys of companies in the sector, in 2022 422 million products were sold, 11% more than the previous year. And 211 million purchase orders were placed, 8% more than in 2021.

Meanwhile, the average buy ticket was $13,488, up 74% from the previous year. And billings increased 87% to $2,846,000. In other words, in pesos, sales rose below last year’s inflation, which was 94.8%.

More than a million people bought online for the first time in 2022
More than a million people bought online for the first time in 2022

In terms of consumers, the study recorded that over one million people bought online for the first time in 2022 and the total was almost 22 million online shoppers. “We have more consumers but with a purchase frequency that has decreased a little. Those who buy once a month or more remained the same, but those who buy several times a week fell slightly. The habit has set in and more purchases are being made with an average ticket which has increased by 74% nominally and in real terms it was smaller due to a change in the product mix,” he said. declared. Gustavo SambucettiCACE Institutional Director.

“Purchases with more than six installments have been reduced. This says more about the number of installments offered by companies than the number of installments made by consumers. The consumer tends to take as many installments as possible. One of the accelerators of online shopping is the ability to pay in instalments and in the second half of 2022 this availability was limited by the financial cost,” added Sambucetti.

While from CACE they credit the general economic situation for invoicing to remain below inflation, they also mentioned other factors, including the lack of product in some items due to import restrictions. “Regulatory restrictions and product availability meant that online sales did not stay at the level of the first half,” explained the director of the chamber.

In some areas, such as tourism, the rise in the dollar and restrictions on installment purchases have depressed sales of outbound travel. The category increased in number of transactions, but services and tickets were purchased for a lower amount, as the increase occurred in trips to destinations in Argentina.

International travel has been replaced by local destinations
International travel has been replaced by local destinations

“We have more people buying more products but for less money, with a lower average ticket. E-commerce has a level of penetration in society that is no exception compared to what is happening at the general level. But we remain with the fact that there are more buyers and more purchases, “said the president of the CACE, Andres Zaied.

The five most-billed online items were:

– Ticketing and tourism: $637,803, represents 22% of total billings and registers a growth of 260% compared to 2021.

– Food, drinks and cleaning products: $420,281, represents 15% of total billing with growth of 86% compared to 2021.

– Audio equipment, image, consoles, IT and telephony: $380,440, representing a 13% stake and 54% growth from 2021.

– Household items (furniture, decoration): $339,048, with a 12% stake and 72% growth from 2021.

– Appliances (white and brown line): $186,982, represents a 7% stake and 67% growth over 2021.

All in all, what are the expectations for 2023 in a context of declining purchasing power and where restrictions on imports and the supply of installment financing remain. “There are two quirks that we believe will kick in at some point in the year. E-commerce is an ally for consumers to research prices, which is why we believe the number of transactions will continue to grow “said Sambucetti.

“The unintended effect in situations of anticipating exchange rate movements, e-commerce is the first catalyst when someone has pesos available and runs out to convert them into commodities. There may be something on that side,” he added. CACE leaders agree that e-commerce will continue to evolve because there is no structural point which blocks it beyond the general economic situation.

According to survey data, consumers regular, which shop weekly, held a 43% market share in 2022 (up from 39% in 2021). THE casualwho buy every 2 to 3 months or less, remain at the same level of participation: 42% in 2022, as in 2021. But every daywho buy between once a week and once a month, have been reduced to 15% of the total (when in 2021 they were 19%).

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