Why the Latin American market is prime for global expansion

A new global super power enters the fold

Over 650 million people, across 33 different countries call Latin America home. Year over year the GDP continues to rise. What was once a region known primarily for its rich agriculture industry, now has found its footing with an emerging tech scene with cities like Sao Paolo and Bogota pumping out billion dollar valued companies like Rappi, Nubank, and more in the last few years. The business news rising out of the region has shown a steady stream of growth for both home grown and global businesses alike. 

But this didn't just happen over night, and appear out of nowhere. Latin America's market growth has been a culmination of a variety of key ingredients that can fuel any market's growth in the digital age: connectivity, demand, and opportunity.

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Connectivity as a catalyst for growth

The increase in digital connectivity and access to the Internet has propelled the region’s growth to new heights. Today nearly 69% of Latin American’s have internet access, and 67% have smart phones. These numbers are only expected to grow over the next few years. 

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This baseline of connection has paved paths for ecommerce, streaming, and gaming industries to take the market by storm. Currently, the domestic ecommerce industry is valued at $93 billion USD.

When you dive deeper into each country, it becomes clear how access to the Internet has influenced key consumer habits and general market trends. For example in Brazil, one of the countries with the greatest access to the Internet, 46% of Brazilians have a a paid streaming account (music or video). In Mexico, the average Mexican is consuming 4.5 hours of video a month, and the gaming industry is valued at $2 billion. ABM-emails-screen-time-02

All of this just further illustrates what this region knew all along, that it has the ability to be a global super power and thrive in the center stage, and really that this is only the beginning. 

Explosion for demand in cross border commerce

Like any region with a growing population and spending power, the demand for commerce follows suit. Latin America is no exception. Over 62% of Brazilians say they have made a purchase from an international brand on their smartphone in the last year.

Even further when you break down the brands that Brazilians have shopped with, it becomes abundantly clear that the demand for global brands in Latin America has been solidified.  The graphic below illustrates data from EBANX's recent Beyond Borders study of how many Brazilians know or made a purchase with an international brand in the last 12 months. 

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This shows that not only is awareness at an all time high, but so is conversion. For global brands looking to reach this region, now is the time to better understand how to expand reach. 

Global brands seize the opportunity

As the spending power in Latin America increases global brands that are early adopters have quickly moved into the fold. In a study done with IPSOS, over 46% of enterprise brands say that they sell their product in some capacity to Latin America. And for those that aren’t currently selling to LatAm, expansion is on the horizon, with 51% of brands saying they are looking to expand this year.

We've begun to see this take shape with streaming players like Netflix, HBO, and Amazon Prime working to localize their brand in the region. The space is only expected to get more crowded with Disney+ and Pluto TV planning their launches in the fall. As long as there is demand for digital services and international brands as a whole, the momentum in this vertical will continue. Brands that are quick to act will win market share, and those that aren't will miss out.  

For global companies looking to expand their presence in the region, and boost customer engagement, step one in EBANX guide in navigating doing business in Latin America lies in truly understanding the market. Check out the state of digital infographic, and the consumer trend studies, and our latest search trend report below to start.