SOURCE: Worldwide Business Research (WBR)

Worldwide Business Research (WBR)

January 27, 2011 08:00 ET

Latin American eCommerce Is 'Just Beginning,' Declares Francisco Ceballos, MercadoLibre Mexico's Country Manager

Regional Online Sales Growth Exceeds 30 Percent Annually

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 27, 2011) - According to Francisco Ceballos, Country Manager at MercadoLibre Mexico, internet sales in Latin America have grown at a compounded rate of 30-40% for the last five years. "As the internet becomes more affordable and we have more devices to connect to the internet, like mobile, we have more users, and as those users get more experienced, they become online shoppers," commented Mr. Ceballos.

The largest eCommerce player in Latin America, MercadoLibre facilitated the transaction of over $2 billion worth of goods in 2009. A featured speaker at the upcoming eTail Latin America conference, Mr. Ceballos says that at about $2.7 billion, Mexico's e-commerce market is up 30% since 2009 and currently makes up about 1.5 percent of the country's overall retail sales. But with fast-growing internet access, improved payment methods and better logistics services, he has no doubt that this number will approach 10% within the next few years, on par with the U.S. and Europe. 

To ensure this growth, Mr. Ceballos feels strongly that retailers in the region must focus on improving the online shopping experience. "What buyers are looking for is ease of use and practicality," said Mr. Ceballos. This is something he believes Latin American retailers can learn from their U.S. counterparts.

Mr. Ceballos will explore these and other ecommerce issues at eTail Latin America (produced by WBR), April 5-7 at the Hyatt Regency in Miami. He'll be joined by leading Latin American and U.S. retail executives from Dell, Wal-Mart Brazil, Falabella, Best Buy, Sony Mexico, Magazine Luiza, Grupo Éxito, Lenovo, Groupon Latin America, BlackBerry, Volaris, Café Britt, Netshoes, Sodimac, Livraria Cultura,,, and Systemax. For more information, visit To listen to a podcast interview with Francisco Ceballos, visit

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At about $2.7 billion, Mexico's e-commerce currently makes up about 1.5 percent of the country's overall retail sales. But that number is quickly growing as e-retailers like MercadoLibre pave the way for brick and mortar stores trying to catch up with fast-moving technology and even faster moving tech-savvy consumers. Many Latin American companies are looking to U.S. e-retailers as examples for success. The region's main e-commerce challenge is ease of use, a skill many American websites have mastered, said Francisco Ceballos, Country Manager and VP of MercadoLibre. While MercadoLibre is the fourth largest website in Latin America, behind only a few major players like Google and Facebook, it still faces challenges because of shipping logistics and online payment limitations in the region. But MercadoLibre is determined to help bring Mexico's online sales percentage closer to 10, and in the podcast below, Francisco talks about how those advances will be made and what Latin America needs in order to become a major global e-commerce force.

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