Tell us about yourself…
I am a VP and Research Director at Forrester Research focused on global eCommerce issues. I look at how eCommerce is evolving in different international markets and help companies figure out how to take advantage of best practices around the globe. I’m especially interested in the rapidly growing emerging eCommerce markets of the world such as those in Latin America.
Where do you see the industry in five years?
In every country in the world, eCommerce revenues continue to increase, with many markets in Latin America growing by a compound annual growth rate of almost 20% over the next five years. While Brazil will remain dominant from a revenue perspective, reaching $35 billion in online retail sales by 2018, other markets will continue to charge forward with exciting opportunities across the region. We see online retail sales in Argentina reaching almost $7 billion by 2018, and those in Mexico approaching $6 billion. There is clearly opportunity for retailers to expand their eCommerce offerings in the short term, and to prepare for much larger markets longer term.
Why are you excited for the future of the industry?
eCommerce is exciting because of the substantial growth in the market going forward, as well as the pace of change in the industry. We’ve barely scratched the surface of what mobile commerce will look like in Latin America, for example – likewise, omnichannel initiatives are very much in their infancy. Latin American retailers are in a unique position in that they already play a prominent role in eCommerce in the region – a look at the list of the top 10 online retailers in any of the larger Latin American markets reveals a number of traditional retailers on the list. That dynamic differs from markets like China and India where almost all of the leading players are web-only retailers.
Tell us about your session at the conference.
My session at the event will look at some of the developments in emerging eCommerce markets around the globe and will analyze how eCommerce in Latin America is similar to – and different from – eCommerce in other fast-growing markets like Russia, India and China. We’ll look at what eCommerce trends are apparent in virtually every country around the globe, and which ones are specific to Latin America. We’ll also talk about how retailers can take advantage of some of the trends and innovation taking place outside of the region. The session aims to provide a global view of what’s happening in eCommerce and present Latin America within that context.