Written By: Gargi Sarma
Latin America's eCommerce sector is growing quickly, particularly now that the epidemic has significantly changed customers' purchasing patterns. Before social distance became the norm, brick-and-mortar shopping ruled the day. However, eCommerce sales took off. Prior to the epidemic, Latin America's eCommerce penetration was much lower than that of the United States or other regions, particularly Asia and China. During the epidemic, eCommerce penetration more than doubled in Latin America, but the main distinction from other regions is that it never stopped expanding.
However, foreign businesspeople who want to enter this rapidly expanding sector must first comprehend its specifics. Bruck cautioned against viewing the Latin American eCommerce market as a single entity rather than the highly diversified collection of nations and people that it actually is. Due to the region's extreme fragmentation, each country in Latin America has a unique set of laws. Brazil offers an entirely different market than those in Mexico, Argentina, or Colombia, as well as distinct rules about how to invoice and import goods.
The retail industry in Latin America today is predominately offline, but advancing trends indicate that it will eventually become digital. By cutting startup costs, moving more of the retail business online might significantly lower the barriers for new merchants to enter the market. This is because they would only need to run a website. eCommerce] has a very important role in moving the needle there, making sure that all the buyers and sellers can operate in a much more efficient manner. In a region where 90% of retail transactions are conducted offline in ways that are typically not as efficient.
In 2022, as seen in Figure 1, there could be over 317.5 million e-commerce consumers in Latin America, according to Statista's Digital Market Outlook. This number would increase by 22% by 2027, reaching 387.7 million users throughout the region.
According to research by eMarketer, Latin America will have the "fastest-growing retail eCommerce market" by the end of 2020, with eCommerce sales increasing by 36.7% there compared to 31.8% in North America and 29.1% in Central and Eastern Europe.
Retailers have been actively striving to improve their omnichannel and eCommerce capabilities. They're investing in "buy online pickup in-store" (BOPIS), redesigning their websites, and becoming more and more sophisticated as they adopt the technology required to compete. Retailers must reconsider their pricing strategy in order to achieve this.
Latin America's adoption of eCommerce has resulted in a cultural change:
Latin American nations have a historical tradition of conducting business with retailers in person. Consumers are used to browsing store aisles, chatting with cashiers, and making purchases with coins and paper money. Latin American retailers and consumers are still getting used to the surge in eCommerce as a result of this and the fact that the market lags behind other areas in the adoption of cutting-edge technology.
There is a paucity of knowledge about how Internet payment technology functions, particularly among consumers in Latin America. Through COVID-19, this technology has undoubtedly become more widespread, but it will take longer for consumers to embrace it more enthusiastically. Given that most people get paid in cash and are less likely than those in other markets to utilise debit or credit cards, consumers do not fully understand or frequently use digital transactions.
Taking this into consideration in Figure 2, we see that Mercado Libre is one of the most popular online markets in Latin America, with substantial traffic from Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. However, with respect to consumers, strategies for consumption vary depending on their intention to spend (Figure 3). For example, consumers who want to cut costs are more inclined to switch to cheaper products (known as "downtrading"). Shoppers who intend to spend more money will be looking to save money on groceries by taking advantage of sales and private-label products.
Accelerating multichannel sales highlights the importance of sophisticated pricing:
In-store associate interactions with customers are based on a clear description of what a retailer's product pyramid is; however, this definition will need to be adjusted for eCommerce.
The objective is not to convey the breadth of products available in a given category; rather, it is to build unambiguous good-better-best links between online products so that consumers may evaluate their selections with clarity. What advantages does the cheapest product offer above what a customer can acquire by spending more money on the "best" choice available?
Here, pricing automation is crucial because it allows for the non-manual maintenance of appropriate price gaps for each item in the hierarchy. A "good" item shouldn't cost more than the "better" option. Retailers who don't manage their operations properly run the risk of communicating the wrong value message to their customers.
Important pricing aspects to keep in mind also include:
Price adjustments are made more frequently online than they are in physical stores because of eCommerce. Online intra-week price modifications are more feasible than manual adjustments made on the shelf. Retailers can regularly adjust prices to maintain competitiveness using AI and machine learning technology.
Pricing inconsistencies should be avoided so as not to send conflicting messages to customers and discourage them from purchasing more of a product. With the price-per-unit reduction in mind, for instance, a 48-ounce bottle of water should be priced "cheaper" than purchasing four 12-ounce bottles. Online shoppers may also be more aware if a product's price is more than they anticipated given the other available options if it is shown in a different colour. With the correct pricing optimisation technology, it is possible to ensure that prices online make sense to customers.
Factors for Latin American e-commerce pricing strategies:
eCommerce companies must implement effective pricing strategies that are adapted to the distinctive features of the region if they want to successfully enter the Latin American retail market. The following are some essential factors for Latin American e-commerce pricing strategies:
Localised Pricing: Recognise that the economic and purchasing power situations of the various Latin American nations vary widely. Adjust your product prices locally by basing them on each nation's economic factors, currency fluctuations, and consumer trends.
Flexible Payment Options: Offer flexible payment alternatives to accommodate regional tastes. Offering these options can increase conversion rates because Latin American buyers frequently choose instalment payments and other payment methods.
Consider Import Taxes and Duties: International e-commerce may be impacted by import taxes and customs fees. Be honest about these prices to prevent shocking clients and cart abandonment at the checkout.
Free or Reasonable Shipping: Latin American customers may have serious concerns about shipping prices. To encourage purchases, think about promoting free shipping or providing reasonable shipping costs.
Mobile-First Strategy: Latin America has a high rate of mobile usage. Make sure your eCommerce site is optimised for mobile use and has a pleasant purchasing experience on tablets and smartphones.
Local Collaborations: To optimise your supply chain and shorten delivery times, collaborate with regional logistics companies and fulfilment facilities. This can also make it easier for you to comply with local laws and customs procedures.
Localised Marketing: Tailor your marketing initiatives to connect with the unique cultural quirks and tastes of each Latin American nation. For the best connection with the target audience, use regional influencers, regional languages, and regional cultural references.
Seasonal and Regional Promotions: Take into account running seasonal or regional promotions to coincide with celebrations and holidays celebrated locally, which can boost revenue and improve clientele engagement.
Monitor Competitor Pricing: To stay competitive in the market, keep a careful eye on your rivals' pricing practises. Continually modify your prices in response to changing consumer and market conditions.
Data-Driven Approach: Apply data analytics to discover consumer preferences and behaviour. You can improve pricing and promotional efforts by having a thorough understanding of consumer purchasing trends.
Customer Service: In the local tongue, offer first-rate customer service. Respond to questions and issues as soon as possible to win over clients' trust and promote recurring sales.
Utilise Social Proof: In Latin America, social proof and word-of-mouth are significant influencers. Use client testimonials and reviews to establish credibility and persuade potential customers to make purchases.
Dynamics Pricing in Multichannel Sales:
The significance of dynamic pricing is becoming clear as Latin America's retail environment embraces multichannel commerce. Nowadays, customers move easily between retail and online shopping environments. To prevent customer confusion and foster trust, a consistent pricing policy across all touchpoints is required.
Price Consistency: Customers should experience consistent pricing both in real stores and across online platforms. Deviations can damage trust by causing misunderstanding. Retailers guarantee a smooth purchasing experience regardless of the channel of choice by matching prices.
Real-time Adjustments: Using technology to keep an eye on market trends and competition pricing in real time gives firms the flexibility to set prices quickly. To maximize profits and maintain competitiveness, dynamic pricing algorithms can take into account elements including demand, inventory levels, and rival prices.
Personalized Discounts and Offers: The ability to evaluate client data makes it possible to create customized offers and promotions. Promos that are specifically designed for each customer's prior behavior and preferences increase customer loyalty and increase conversion rates.
Using tech-driven approaches to succeed:
Technology-driven pricing methods are quickly taking the lead in the competitive world of Latin American e-commerce.
AI and Machine Learning: By putting AI and machine learning algorithms into practice, organizations can precisely predict demand trends. In consequence, this encourages sensible pricing and inventory management choices, lowering the likelihood of stockouts and overstock scenarios.
Geo-targeted Pricing: By using geographic segmentation, organizations can set pricing that takes into account local competition, regional demand, and cost factors. With this strategy, pricing is guaranteed to be acceptable to neighborhood customers while maximizing profitability.
A/B Testing: Pricing strategies can be tested in real-time due to the dynamic nature of e-commerce. Finding the best pricing strategy for each market requires A/B testing various price points, discount schemes, and payment methods.
A one-size-fits-all pricing model will not work for businesses as Latin America continues to embrace the e-commerce revolution. Success requires a thorough awareness of the subtleties in economic, cultural, and consumer behavior. Retailers may fully realize the potential of the Latin American retail market by implementing dynamic pricing models that include multichannel consistency and make use of technology. Those who utilize the power of smart pricing will be best positioned to prosper in this changing environment as competition heats up.
RapidPricer helps automate pricing, promotions and assortment for retailers. The company has capabilities in retail pricing, artificial intelligence and deep learning to compute merchandising actions for real-time execution in a retail environment.