What do I need to know about customer expectations in Brazil?

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Author: Vanessa Pereira, Social Media Intelligence Analyst, Webcertain

Businesses must work much harder today to convince prospective Brazilian customers.

The country’s economic recession and the current political instability has made Brazilian consumers cautious. They watch their pennies (or in this case, reais) really carefully. Price is now the leading influential factor in the purchasing decisions.

 

In a recent global survey on attitudes surrounding online shopping, 57% of Brazilians surveyed declared that it was the cheaper products / services (rather than convenience) that swayed them towards buying online1. Similar findings were observed by Mckinsey&Company, that described Brazilian consumers as price-conscious, concerned and conservative2.

 

The most recent report by the Brazilian National Statistics Commission (CNI) on the National Index of Consumer Expectations (INEC) has concluded that, while consumer confidence levels are gradually improving for essential every day spending, higher-value goods are the ones registering increasing negative responses from consumers3.

 

The automotive industry is a prime example of this. New vehicle sales dropped by 31% between 2013 and 2015 in Brazil, while paradoxically, Brazilian consumer satisfaction levels increased as, with fewer customers, car dealers had to work harder to secure the deal4. “Demanding” is not an exclusive trait of Brazilian consumers alone nevertheless.

 

Customer expectations when shopping in Brazil

 

If one is talking demanding, the Brazilian state takes the medal. Brazil has actually been ranked the most time-consuming tax-regime in the world, the system is really complex and tax codes may be even contradictory from one region to the other5.

 

Beware, as the famed Brazilian relaxed attitude to life does not apply to the country’s tax authorities and the state pursues aggressive tax enforcement policies. Another aspect that may surprise the Brazilian uninitiated is the Boleto Bancário, a very popular payment method that is unique to Brazil.

 

Like a pro-forma invoice, Boleto is an official push payment method regulated by the Brazilian Central Bank6.The advantage of using a boleto is that it can be used by banked and unbanked Brazilians, a massive thing in a country where 40% of its adult population do not have bank accounts7. This ease of payment access has nonetheless made it a target for fraud, as online fraudsters change boletos locally, as soon as they are generated by the computer or browser8.

 

Brazilian consumers may find themselves thus having even more reasons to feel concerned in the future. And businesses may find that they need to give buyers even more reassurances, that they are getting the best deal and their payment system is a secure one.

 

 

1 - PWC - Total Retail Global Report
2 - Mckinsey - Meet the new Brazilian Consumer Report
3 - Brazilian Media
4 - J.D. Power - Brasil Study
5 - Forbes - Brazil Article
6 - About Payments Report on Brazil
7 - PagBrasil - Payment Gateway Report
8 - Secure List - Attacks against Boletos article

 

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