Author: Jenni Day, Senior Marketing Manager, Pentagon
This huge growth in eCommerce has been put down to a growing middle class who are eager for a wider selection of quality goods at competitive prices, contributing to the rise of cross-border transactions, which now accounts for 38% of all Brazilian eCommerce.
MERCADOLIBRE: THE LEADING ONLINE PLATFORM IN LATIN AMERICA
Founded back in 1999, MercadoLibre is the largest eCommerce ecosystem in Latin America, currently active in 13 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. At present, global sales exceed $557m.
The automated online platform enables businesses and individuals to list items and conduct their sales and purchases in a fixed-price or auction-based format, with the preferred selling option (80% of purchases) being fixed price.
MercadoLibre offers more than 20 million live listings and benefits from over 121 million active users. The site dominates the online market in Latin America across multiple product categories, including baby, apparel & footwear, tech, home & garden and many more.
WHAT MAKES MERCADOLIBRE ATTRACTIVE TO UK RETAILERS?
ROBUST TRADING ENVIRONMENT
With a market of over 550 million people in the region with one of the world’s fastest-growing internet penetration rates, MercadoLibre provides buyers and sellers with a robust online trading environment to support the development of a large and growing eCommerce community. The platform’s complete technical and commercial solution addresses the distinctive cultural and geographic challenges of operating an online trading platform in Latin America.
CROSS-BORDER TRADE PROGRAMME
The MercadoLibre cross-border trade programme (aka MercadoLibre CBT) aims to help international merchants sell on MercadoLibre throughout Latin America. There are no set-up fees and the programme offers multiple integration options, enabling sellers to ship directly to buyer (DDU / Parcel) or to a local address (DDP / Freight-forwarding service), with MercadoLibre taking care of foreign exchange and local payments through MercadoPago.
Currently, MercadoLibre CBT is enabled in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile, but the online giant aims to enable CBT in all 13 markets over the next few months. This programme is open to sellers worldwide.
MercadoPago is MercadoLibre’s integrated payments solution that offers users greater security for online transactions. All payments on MercadoLibre are collected through MercadoPago and sent in remittance to the sellers twice a month.
MercadoEnvíos is MercadoLibre’s dedicated shipping programme, which provides protected shipment and guarantees best price shipping costs for each area of the country.
MercadoShops allows retailers to create their own personalised online store within the MercadoLibre platform.
MercadoClicks is an advertising service that enables retailers to promote their products and services on the site.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
1) LOWER YOUR PRICES
MercadoLibre is a value-based marketplace, so getting your pricing right is the most important aspect of a product listing. Sellers are advised to start by offering lower value products, ideally below £50.
2) GET SHIPPING RIGHT:
Offer both courier and post service delivery, and keep shipping costs low.
3) EXCEL AT CUSTOMER SERVICE:
Provide 24-hour highly responsive customer service - Latin American consumers expect immediate responses to enquires.
4) PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCTS:
Competition is high, so make the most of marketing tools on the platform.
5) LIST MORE ITEMS:
The more items you have live, the more likely you are to be found by buyers. Plus, some items are more attractive than others in different countries.
6) ADD CATEGORY TAGS:
MercadoLibre’s search engine relies on their categories to optimise search, so make sure all products are correctly categorised.
7) TRANSLATE WHERE POSSIBLE:
Product titles and descriptions can be provided in English and will automatically be translated into Portuguese (Brazil) or Spanish (rest of Latin America), but since automatic translation is not perfect, it is advised that sellers who can translate their content do, to help conversion.
8) DON’T OVERLOOK COSTS:
Factor in all costs including shipping, customs / taxes and foreign exchange rates, when calculating your price for the end-user to ensure it is competitive.