LATAM E-Commerce is Here to Stay

Trends / Technology
Malte Mueller
Federico Roales
Apr 30, 2022
At Getty Images, we detected that there is a significant gap between the explosive development of e‑commerce over the course of the pandemic and the way that it is being visually represented in the region. E‑commerce is still more likely to be visually represented through images of people using laptops rather than smartphones. While 7 out of 10 digital products in Latin America are already purchased from a smartphone1, just 35% of most popular e‑commerce visuals depict a person buying from these devices. Furthermore, customers tend to represent e‑commerce purchases with images that have digital overlays, being intended to convey technological or futuristic vibes, instead of depicting real people interacting with technological devices during their daily routines.
Consumers have also perceived the impact of the adoption of e‑commerce in their lives: according to VisualGPS, 83% of Latin American consumers recognize they are using their mobile phone more now as a way to transact and pay for things than ever before. Within Millennials exclusively, this percentage arises to 90%. Almost 9 in 10 Latin American consumers used their smartphone to research before buying a product, and even three‑quarters admitted to having used their mobile phone to make a better purchasing decision even inside the physical store2.

Over the course of the pandemic, Latin America was the region where e‑commerce grew the most worldwide3. For example, Mercado Libre, a regional e‑commerce retailer leader, experienced 60.5% more revenue growth in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 20204. At Getty Images, search terms related to digital purchases, such as “e‑commerce” (‑23%), “online shopping” (‑29%), or “online purchase” (‑1%), have fallen in Latin America during the last year. This drop in searches suggests that our customers understand e‑commerce just as part of a flourished seasonal trend during the pandemic, when on the contrary, statistics continue to show that it keeps growing in terms of volume, impact and revenue.
Both industry data and consumer sentiment tell us that e‑commerce will only get stronger. Make sure your visual choices are candid, with imagery that feels genuine while representing real people across different identity intersections (such as skin color, age, gender identity or having a disability) shopping online from different devices in order to accurately reflect this shift in our purchasing habits.
The Computer on My Wrist