Voice of the Industry

Brazil - the realm of m-commerce opportunities for businesses

Wednesday 7 March 2018 10:09 CET | Editor: Melisande Mual | Voice of the industry

Bianca Lopez from PagBrasil shares insights into the m-commerce opportunities in Brazil and the challenges businesses need to overcome to benefit from this potential

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular among Brazilians. In fact, for a large part of the population, such devices are their sole source of Internet connection. A recent study by IBGE (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estística), revealed that 92.3% of Brazilian households have at least one mobile phone. The country holds the fifth highest position in number of smartphone users worldwide. An impressive 94.6% of Internet users in the country have used mobile devices to access the internet both at home and on the go. Also, worth mentioning is that 38.6% of Internet connections at home were done exclusively via mobile devices.

Brazil is also second in the global ranking of time spent using mobile internet. The study ‘We Are Social’ indicates that Brazilians spend 3.56 hours per day browsing the web on their smartphones, with the majority of the time spent on social media and instant messaging apps.

The study also points out that the country has a share of 26% of m-commerce users, as opposed to 45% for ecommerce as a whole.

In 2017 alone, the m-commerce user base in the country grew by 42%. Furthermore, mobile devices were responsible for 31% of all ecommerce transactions, an impressive growth when taken into account that in 2015 they only accounted for 15% of all transactions.

However, there are still some challenges that businesses need to overcome to fully benefit from the potential of the m-commerce sector in Brazil.

How to Ride the M-Commerce Wave

The overall ecommerce conversion rate (visit to purchase) in Brazil was slightly lower in 2017, 1.4% as opposed to 1.6% in 2016. The increased access via mobile devices plays an important role here. Less than 20% of the online stores in the country have a responsive design.

In addition, both the checkout process and the payment methods are not fully adapted to provide a seamless experience for consumers purchasing with their mobile devices. In light of that, it is essential for online businesses and ecommerce service providers to implement changes that will make it easier for the consumer to finalise a purchase.

The Brazilian scenario is very particular, not only because a large part of consumers exclusively access the Internet on their smartphones, but also due to the high number of unbanked adults, currently estimated at around 55 million people. There are several options out there to facilitate payment with credit cards. Solutions like 1-click purchase, for instance, are a must-have for a successful m-commerce strategy and significantly decrease the friction to finalise a purchase. However, it only applies to card payments, which are usually not available for people without a bank account, with the exception of pre-paid cards.

With such huge unbanked population, it is justified that the alternative payment method, known in the country as Boleto Bancário, still represents nearly one-quarter of all ecommerce payments. The Boleto Bancário is a form of pay slip introduced in the early 90’s, way before the ecommerce boom. Because of that, it is not a surprise that it is not adapted for mobile devices.

However, there are changes being made on this front. Several local fintech companies are working to close the gap and promoting digital and financial inclusion in the country. This way, the access to the ecommerce segment can also be democratised. For instance, PagBrasil has created a fully responsive boleto, which can be easily viewed and paid on mobile devices. In addition, it also works in-app. The technology is available for both PagBrasil’s Boleto Flash® and Boleto Express. Although both boletos provide accelerated payment confirmation, Boleto Flash® is the only boleto in Brazil that can be confirmed in less than two hours. Therefore, it also provides a better payment experience for consumers who can get faster access to their purchases, such as digital products and services.

In more established markets, such as UK and Japan, m-commerce already represents more than half of all ecommerce transactions. Considering Brazil’s position in the global ranking of smartphone users, way ahead of both countries, the potential of the m-commerce segment in Brazil is undeniable. Adapting to the changes required by the increase in mobile connectivity and the advance of m-commerce is more than essential. In the medium to long-term, it is a matter of business survival.

About Bianca Lopez

Bianca Lopez is Marketing Manager at PagBrasil. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Universidade do Vale do Itajaí and a Master’s Degree in Communication from Universitat de Barcelona. Bianca is specialized in Digital Marketing and Communication, with focus on the payment industry.


About PagBrasil

PagBrasil is an online payment platform for Brazil, with gateway and collection services. Its broad set of local payment methods includes the exclusive Boleto Flash with responsive technology. The company’s state-of-the-art infrastructure offers flexible integration methods, with extensions for Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, VTEX, among others. PagBrasil has a full set of advanced services, including an automated split-payout solution for marketplaces, especially aimed at boosting online sales in Brazil.

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Keywords: PagBrasil, Brazil, m-commerce, ecommerce, mobile payments, online payments, prepaid cards, Boleto Flash, Boleto Bancário, Boleto Express
Countries: World