International Ecommerce

Unlock Retail Growth in Latin America: 6 Ways Mercado Libre Can Simplify Cross-Border Selling

Javier Osorio Aldana / 4 min read

By now, most merchants are aware of the exponential growth happening in retail e-commerce sales worldwide — data from Statista projects the ecommerce industry will have $6.5 trillion in sales globally by 2023. While these changes are happening worldwide, it’s worth taking a deeper dive into the acceleration in online sales in Latin America alone. 

Latin America is a region full of opportunities due to its economic growth. In fact, Latin America is one of the world’s fastest growing ecommerce markets. Added to this, ecommerce has had a considerable increase in the region due to COVID-19.

As Carlos Garcia Ottati, founder and CEO of Kavak stated for the Oxford Business Group:

“Quarantine and social distancing measures greatly accelerated the trust and adoption of digital platforms, helping Latin America catch up with more digitally mature markets like the U.S. or China.” 

Latin America has been a well-kept secret among retail strategists for years. While eyes are often on Asia to appease Wall Street’s appetite for growth, brands have spent more than enough resources on penetrating markets like China to learn that it takes more than a strong product and consumer demand to succeed in a new overseas market. 

The numbers are in, the leading ecommerce marketplace in the region, Mercado Libre, has experienced massive growth and are forecasted to account for 25% of all ecommerce sales in Latin America by the end of 2021. They maintain 132.5M unique active users, drawing the attention of sellers like you from around the world. 

Together with BigCommerce, you can grow your business today by selling your products in Latin America, home to 635 million shoppers across 33 countries. 

Mercado Libre: Your Latin America Entry Point

Success overseas mirrors your traditional equation of effort and reward. However, businesses are often challenged by the cultural nuances and operational differences involved in breaking into a new geography. While thorough analysis is required, one strategy you can employ to make things smooth is to leverage the leading marketplace channels in a given market. You want to ensure that your first and future customers have the best experience possible, which means working with a strong ecosystem they’re already familiar with. 

As a leader in omnichannel ecommerce platforms, BigCommerce has naturally sought out and partnered with the number one marketplace in Latin America, Mercado Libre. BigCommerce is determined to expand their successful Channel Manager platform to ensure our existing merchants across the U.S. put their best foot forward as they build their loyal consumer base in the region. 

As for Mercado Libre, this partnership is a huge opportunity to broaden its user base and reinstate their core objective: to democratize commerce, payments and money in Latin America. 

What is Mercado Libre?

Mercado Libre (NASDAQ: MELI) is the number one ecommerce marketplace in Latin America. Its ecosystem offers a wide range of services, both to buyers and sellers, throughout the region such as:

  • Payments
  • Advertising
  • E-building solutions
  • Shipping

How Mercado Libre Works with International Merchants 

In order to simplify the process for international sellers, Mercado Libre launched their Global Selling Program, which allows U.S. sellers to showcase their products in Latin America. From one single account, international merchants are able to sell products in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Chile. One of the key benefits of this program is that sellers list and collect their orders in USD, without having to worry about local currency fluctuations.

Essentially, Mercado Libre is an experience that makes selling in Latin America as simple as selling within the U.S.

Why You Should Use Mercado Libre to Sell in Latin America 

Let’s consider six reasons why BigCommerce has partnered with Mercado Libre to expand its merchants’ sales in Latin America — and why it makes sense for your business to seize this opportunity now. 

1. Handle shipping and fulfillment seamlessly. 

Mercado Envios is a logistics solution offered by Mercado Libre that sellers can use to ship orders to Latin America. It consists of two shipping methods: fulfillment and direct to consumers. Sellers are able to choose the one that fits best for their commercial operation and strategy. 

This shipping solution takes the selling experience to another level. Sellers only have to send their products to Mercado libre’s fulfillment warehouses. From this point forward, Mercado Libre takes care of everything else — from storage and preparation to shipping on the same or next day. 

  • Option 2: Direct to consumers

In this shipping solution, sellers are provided ready-to-print shipping labels and are responsible for sending their packages to Mercado Libre’s partner carriers (DHL, MailAmericas and Bringer). 

2. Increase exposure with Product Ads.

This integrated advertising solution allows sellers to boost the visibility of their products. With Product Ads, sellers have the ability to hide, pause or activate campaigns, as well as set daily budgets. This platform works under a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning sellers only pay once users click on their ads.

3. Forget about local currency fluctuations.

In Mercado Libre, sellers list and collect in dollars. This means they don’t have to worry about local currency fluctuations since the platform automatically adjusts and updates prices for their buyers. This is a phenomenal feature that helps sellers to stay focused on selling rather than on price updates.

4. Grow with a leader in the region. 

Mercado Libre has seen resounding success across Latin America. Since its inception in 1999, the ecommerce retailer has become the most valuable company in Latin America, surpassing other big players such as Petrobras (oil) and Itaú (banking). It’s also the number one ecommerce marketplace in Latin America. 

5. Eliminate language barriers.

With Mercado Libre, sellers don’t have to worry about language barriers and content localization. The platform provides tools for sellers to handle all their processes in English. This includes automated translations for pre- and post-sale questions and claims.

 

6. Provide a better shopping experience.

One of the key differentiators of Mercado Libre is its reputation system, which is calculated based on the following metrics:

  • The number of complaints a seller receives from their buyers
  • The rate of cancelled orders by the seller
  • The handling time 

This simple yet powerful system allows sellers to identify and work on issues that affect their reputation, and ultimately offer a better shopping experience.  

How to Register on Mercado Libre

Ready to get started? Expanding your growth in Latin America with Mercado Libre can be done with just a few simple steps. If you already have a BigCommerce store you can do this by connecting to Mercado Libre from within Channel Manager and completing your application to become a Mercado Libre Marketplace seller. Once approved, activate the CedCommerce integration, follow Mercado Libre’s onboarding steps and let the selling begin!

Find out more information and get started here. 

 

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Javier Osorio Aldana

Javier Osorio Aldana

UX Writer

Javier is part of the Cross Border Trade business unit at Mercado Libre. His main focus consists of designing powerful experiences for sellers in the US. Passionate for music, writing and cycling.

View all posts by Javier Osorio Aldana

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