Panama Leads E-commerce Growth
As a country that has adapted quickly to many of the challenges it has faced in its short history and emerged triumphant every time, Panama continues to shine, even in markets as hotly contested as e-commerce in Latin-America in 2020 and 2021. The Latin-American market was predicted to be the fastest-growing market globally with about $200 billion in revenue.
While many markets were on a free-fall last year, digital goods and services were poised to grow as much as 45% in 2020, whereas previous year-to-year growth averaged between 20-30%. In Panama in particular, e-commerce brought in approximately $296 million, which represented about 8% of all retail operations, coming in higher than Brazil at 7.8%.
The reason behind this growth? While digital markets have been a growing sector across the globe for several years, lockdowns pushed many to try e-commerce for the first time. It is estimated that there were approximately 52 million first-time buyers across Latin America during 2020. Technology has also played its part, with local offering Cuanto.app, Instagram Shopping and Facebook Marketplace making it very easy for entrepreneurs to create their own digital marketplace in a couple of minutes.
In a country where more than half of the population has access to the internet, there is still much potential for growth. Regional online banking solutions such as Yappy, Nequi and an alliance between a local bank and Paypal, offer both people and businesses digital payment solutions to faciliate the transition to e-commerce.
Logistical challenges must be overcome every time an order needs be fulfilled and delivered. Regional delivery giant, Delivery Hero, bought Panama’s largest delivery service provider last year in an effort to grow their user base and offer delivery services to new locations. Up until recently, one of the drawbacks of online shopping in Panama was unclear addresses and lack of precise postal codes. Private initiatives are pushing to implement usable postcodes and will make the final step of online shopping easier.
Panama is a world-renowned leader in logistics, and e-commerce is another opportunity for the country to shine. Small and large businesses are blossoming in this country, making an online shop worth considering for investors and entrepreneurs of all sizes. If you’re looking to find other investment opportunities, such as real estate, don’t hesitate to contact us!