Two separate leisure sectors held conventions recently which highlighted a similar trend: Latin American consumers are becoming more mobile- savvy and willing to spend via their devices than ever before, and it’s making Latam the emerging online market to watch.
Both the Latin American Fashion Summit in Miami, and the GAT (Gaming and Technology) Expo in Colombia carried the theme of what one speaker called a ‘digital renaissance’ of the region.
The key takeaway from one session at the Latin American Fashion Summit is that digital consumers are swelling. Istituto Marangoni Miami’s Massimo Casagrande said: “In 2021, at the end of the first quarter, we’d seen that 50 million e-commerce customers emerged in the Latin American market”. And the consumers are from unlikely – previously untapped – demographics, sped up in their adoption of new online habits because of the demands and restrictions of the pandemic.
As we have previously discussed in this Journal, the online retail experience became significantly more important during the pandemic than ever before, not only for essentials but also for lifestyle and luxury products which people were still keen to buy despite the dramatic times.
For those not previously au fait with the online shopping experience, this was an excellent time to get used to it, with brands putting incredible amounts of resources into tempting new shoppers to take a chance with an online purchase. As comfort levels and familiarity with the online process grew, so did the potential for Latam consumers to continue to purchase online even when brick and mortar stores are open.
Meanwhile at the GAT Expo, conversation flowed around the opportunities presented to those industries by the pandemic. Considering internet infrastructure is lacking, mobile phones were already important tools for consumers in the region, but the pandemic made the use of these devices for entertainment and purchasing ever more familiar and vital. It remains to be seen who will win the long term battles for the hearts of online consumers in Latam, but for those who wish to try, the time is now.