28 February, 2019 BeOn

Argentina and Chile Deep Dive: how do online platforms look like at the most developed countries of the region?

Argentina and Chile are the countries with the highest development index for the online FMCG industry within Latin America. Both markets are dominated by Brick&Clicks but also have an interest level of development of Market Places who are more than willing to put up a fight in the battle for these categories’ online consumers. In this article we explore in detail the online FMCG market of Argentina and Chile to understand how the main platforms are positioned and how they are performing.

Argentina and Chile represent about 13% of Latin American economy. Together they add up 62 million citizens and the both show the highest level of development in the region in terms of online FMCG sales. This is why they are two very attractive countries for retailers, both Brick & Clicks and Market Places, to expand their businesses and settle development plans. Despite being well overdeveloped vs peer countries in the region, Argentina and Chile’s online channel is the fastest growing one, at a rate 5 times higher than traditional channels.

For this study, a BeOn proprietary analysis, we explored 20 platforms: 13 in Argentina and 7 in Chile. Below we review the main conclusions.

Argentina’s online channel

Just like in other countries in Latin America, Argentina also has a highly concentrated online market within Brick&Clicks platforms. Coto, Walmart and Cencosud concentrate more than 80% of total users. Worth noticing, though, that two of the most relevant offline players, Día and Carrefour, have just initiated their online operations. This means that the current user split scenario could be modified as these very important retailers start gaining pace and sales within the online universe.


Capabilities Development

Argentina stands above average in almost all performance indicators which means that consumers overall shopping experience is good. This is one of the main reasons why the country is overdeveloped in terms of sales. Users visit platforms on average once a month, remaining 5 minutes in each one and visiting 5 pages.

Brick & Clicks in Argentina offer a wide variety of payment methods. All of them accept credit and debit cards while 60% allows cash payment upon delivery. 30% of platforms have their own credit card and 11% allow payment via Mercado Pago.

Regarding delivery capabilities, 95% of Brick&Clicks offer same day delivery (24 hour) at an average cost of 3.2 USD, that is 20% less than region average. Almost half of the retailers offer click & collect option.

Argentina also counts with the presence of the most important Last Milers of the region. Glovo, Mercadoni, Rappi and PedidosYa are in permanent geographic and category expansion. They work with more and more retailers every day. Interesting to note, though, that Coto, Argentina’s main online player accounting for nearly half of sales, is not working with any Last Miller.

In terms of capabilities, more than half of Argentinean online platforms have the cross selling option and allow the use of Hero Images.


The Chilean experience

Chile is the country in the region with the highest Brick&Click online penetration among citizens. This penetration is of 22% and more than doubles region average. Just like in Argentina, two platforms concentrate more than 70% of users: Lider.cl y Jumbo.cl


Regarding performance indicators, Chile stands at a regional average. Users have a monthly visit frequency, visiting almost four pages and staying around 3 and a half minutes.

The acceptance of Hero Images is widely spread among retailers. However, cross selling and checkouts represent a huge opportunity for differentiation since none of them offer it today. Chile does not offer such a wide range of payment methods. Retailers generally only accept credit cards. Still this is not a big issue since Chile is one of the countries in the region with the highest level of bancarization, meaning that people are able to easily access credit cards.

Last Milers are also betting big in Chile. Rappi, Cornershop and PedidosYa are already operating with all the main platforms and also offer deliveries from the pharmaceutical channel, such as SalcoBrand.


The increasing presence of Market Places

Just like in the rest of the region, the presence of Market Places and Pure players is increasing. Amongst them, the main player and absolute leader is Mercado Libre, whose main focus for the next few years is to be able to grow strongly in FMCG categories. This is why it represents such a big threat for traditional retailers since besides their know how in the online world, their performance in both countries is overwhelming.

From a user standpoint, Mercado Libre counts with almost 12 times more users than all of the Brick&Clicks together. This means that they account for 91% of Argentina’s unique users! These users visit their platform more than 5 times a month, remaining around 8 minutes per visit and accessing more than 9 pages each time.

Something similar happens in the case of Chile, where Mercado Libre more than doubles the number of unique users of the Brick&Clicks together. The recently acquired by Falabella, Linio, also has a considerable development among Chileans. When analyzing performance indicators for these two platforms, we can see that they surpass traditional Brick&Clicks since they are visited on average 2 and a half times per month, for about 5 minutes and accessing almost 7 pages per time.

Amazon does not have its own selling platform in these countries yet, though users are able to buy in the official website and have their products shipped to their countries. Worth noticing, though, that the company led by Jeff Bezos has just disembarked with their own fulfillment system in Brazil and their have an expansion plan for the rest of the region.


Since we are talking about the two most developed countries in the region in terms of online FMCG sales, Argentina and Chile represent two very interesting economies for regional and global players. Retailers capabilities are constantly improving as well as the presence of Last Milers who act as catalyzers for online sales growth. The increasing presence of Market Places, with their overwhelming performance in terms o users and performance indicators add up to the more than interesting landscape to keep track of in the following years. The war for digital shoppers will become more and more ferocious!