5 Trends for brazilian E-commerce in 2018

5 min

Once again, 2017 was a good year for e-commerce in Brazil. Some aspects contributed to make this possible. The resumption of the GDP growth, estimated at 1% by Focus, a newsletter published by the Central Bank of Brazil, the greater economic stability despite a turbulent year in politics and control of inflation (estimated by the government at 2.78%) helped to keep this market growing at a significant pace.

It had been estimated a 10%-growth for brazilian e-commerce in 2017. Even though we have not received the final version of Webshoppers, a study published by Ebit about the e-commerce market in Brazil, until this day (January 22), we know that this is a sector of the economy that will hardly be stagnant.  The fact is that we are all still experiencing the beginning of a new era in commerce and consumer relations. Only 3% of the Brazilian retail sales, according to Ebit, are online today.

The change of consumers’ profile and their habits will naturally raise the figures, and new conducts and trends will emerge to meet the stringent demands of these new consumers.

The virtual commerce is dynamic and has been experiencing transformations to which we are all still adapting. So, we will not discuss here about the Omnichannel, Chatbots via messenger or even Marketplaces. All these are still in an evolutionary maturing process and will be more stabilized in 2018; however, they are already a reality for some shopkeepers or even concepts well known among all.

Let’s talk about 5 e-commerce trends for 2018:

1- Alternative delivery methods


We live in a continental country with logistic features that are still restraints to the growth of online sales. New logistic companies and methods are emerging to gradually tackle some of these difficulties that we experience in the day-to-day of Brazilian e-commerce. These actions go beyond the benefits that the omnichannel can bring to the ‘Pick Up in Store’ option of large retail chains.

In this line of action, we already have major national players beginning to use the new locker services, which have begun to appear in the national market and are showing a good performance abroad. The concept lies on the idea that electronic lockers placed at strategic and safe locations can be the delivery point of online purchases collected by the buyer via QR Code 24 hours a day. The lockers are intended to solve some problems:

In addition, the lockers can be interesting tools for stores that are aware about the consumption habits of each region/locker and can deliver in advance the goods that will be purchased at a certain time later, reducing their logistics costs.

Same day delivery

Another need that some segments have brought – and that will be increasingly common in large urban centers – is the same day delivery, that is, you purchase a product and, if it is within the shopkeeper’s cut-off period, the delivery will be on the same day. In 2017 we saw the continued growth of motorcycle delivery services and the stabilization of services using bicycles and clean vehicles.

Still in 2018, the consumer expectation is that more shopkeepers can offer this modality that will add a new share of sales to the market. Imagine yourself in your office and needing to buy a gift for a birthday party you’ve just remembered it is tonight. Go to the Mall? Face traffic and queues? Parking? Enough is enough!  The e-commerce is the solution!

In addition, private delivery services tend to finally become popular and soon we will see people specializing in this, as it already occurs with food delivery services and paid rides.

2- Industry with e-commerce encouraging channels and franchises

The B2B is already a reality. Many wholesale businesses already have this channel to facilitate the buying process for retailers. As the growth of the B2B e-commerce was already a reality in 2017, we did not treat it as an actual trend for the industry in 2018.

In fact, the trend is the new possibility for distributors and industries who want to avoid a channel conflict. In the past, to do that, the company simply limited itself to not having its own store with its brand. Now the way is the other way around … how about selling on your own e-commerce and distributing through your network of partners, whether retailers or franchisees?

E-commerce projects like the one of Tintas Suvinil, where you buy your product and the order is billed by the nearest reseller store to the chosen Zip Code, will be increasingly common.  Cacau Show does something similar, but it uses its own network of franchises. What once could be a problem is currently another important distribution channel if the brand is present at the final consumer.

VTEX technology participates in these two cases and can assist any wholesale customer who needs to bill through their franchises or resellers.

3- Voice Commerce

In 2018, we expect to use our voice through applications such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa to carry out the entire purchase process of any product or service.

This will be a gradual but profound change of habits, and we expect a huge drop in shopping cart abandonment. The purchase will be even more impulsive, easy and smooth. The online shopping experience will be closer to what we have been used to as humans ever since – asking someone verbally what we need and want.

Will ‘Hello Google’ be one of the most talked about terms in Brazil? For further details on Voice Commerce or conversational commerce, read this post on the VTEX Blog.

4- New means of payment

Trends are not necessarily technological innovations. This is a premise that must be taken into account to understand that one of the trends for e-commerce in 2018 is the cash on delivery method, that is, the method you use when you order a pizza at home on a Friday night: you pay for it upon delivery!

This is not something innovative considering that we already have national solutions operating with this type of solution; however, the dissemination to the market, as it occurs in more advanced countries with e-commerce, should occur later this year.

In addition, we cannot leave out the Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies like the Bitcoin, for example. They will bring some conveniences, such as reduced cost of transaction (If P2P, it is estimated a zero cost) or only the charge for the gateway involved. In addition, the security of the transaction will lead to a huge reduction of one of the biggest annoyances for the online retailer – the chargeback – since there will be no payment refusal, as it occurs with credit cards.

Another important factor that unites us with the fifth and ultimate trend of this article is that the global market will be available to the shopkeeper through the cryptocurrencies, since the transactions between countries will occur without a great deal of financial bureaucracies.

5- Global expansion of Brazilian brands through e-commerce

In the past, the admission of domestic players in international markets depended on huge investment efforts. It required conventional physical stores, advertising, studies, among others, with very high costs.

Today, we can already see that the term ‘globalization’, which used to refer to the distribution of content without borders, already occurs with products. Who never bought a product from China? The same can occur in reverse flow. Selling in China? This is already possible!

First of all, with the emergence of the concept of marketplaces, it costs nothing to have your product catalog on Taobao (Chinese marketplace), Myntra (India’s fashion marketplace) or Allegro (Polish marketplace). Not being in the main marketplaces of the world will be a mistake for the main Brazilian brands.

But what about fulfillment? Well, there are already companies and solutions that are beginning to enable the accomplishment of the whole process in Brazil and allow the delivery, for a reasonable price, to other markets. Oh, yes! We will soon have a boom of an even more global trade and many of our brands will realize that Brazil is still small for them.

Do you have any question or suggestion? Please, send us an e-mail at partner@vtex.com