The Mercado Libre Challenge in Latin America

Latin America is a fantastic growth market opportunity. Yet without the development of internationally recognized delivery options the market will be limited in its long term development. Currently address formats and standardizations exist for many of the countries. However many of the international address verification technology providers do not provide the most current standardization rules or reference data. A great example of the opportunity and the challenge in Latin American market is the story of Mercado Libre.

Mercado Libre is setting the bar for Latin American commerce. This company is seen as the LATAM eBay with a presence in 12 Latin American countries including Brazil, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. They are ranked as the number one platform for Internet purchases in all of these countries. What makes Mercado Libre really interesting is the number of countries they have achieved success in, in such a short period of time. This is not the norm in market growth with most US based etailers.

In a interview in the Wall Street Journal, Nicolas Berman the Vice-President of Advertising for Mercado Libre acknowledged that the number of people involved in e-commerce in Latin America currently adds up to about 70 million. This is a fantastic number, however he readily admits that “For e-commerce to continue to grow in the region, it’s important that all players work on developing the channels used, along with the usability of the buy and sell websites, and methods of delivery and payment”.

Without the application of technology tuned to the needs of the market and the use of solid international reference data to power the system, achieving market growth will be difficult if not impossible.

US or European retailers/etailers seeking to enter the LATAM market need to first address the challenges of payment, delivery and fraud.

Get good software. Get good data. Go get market share.