Mexico’s Digital State: Internet, Electronic Commerce and Devices

According to the "2011 study of habits and perceptions among Mexicans regarding the Internet and various related technologies" conducted by World Internet Project Mexico and Tec de Monterrey, the country has a total of 40,000 web users, accounting for a national penetration rate of 40%.

Regionally, the Federal District (the country’s main metropolitan area, known as DF) is contributing the greatest slice of digital users, with 25% of the total.  This is followed by the Bajío area and the northern region, with 17% each.  Southeastern Mexico accounts for 16%, while the central area (not counting DF) and northwest areas account for 15% and 10%, respectively. 

Electronic Commerce in Mexico

E-commerce penetration in Mexico reached 60% in May 2011, five points below the global average and 21 points below the U.S. average, according to data from comScore.  Average monthly usage (minutes per visitor) in the country was 30.7, more than 20 minutes below the global average. Brazil is the Latin American country with the greatest reach in this category, with 70%.  Argentina is second with 64%.

According to comScore, the leading online retail sites in Mexico are Free Market (25.5% reach), Amazon (10.6%), Apple (9.4%), BuscaPe (4%), Ticketmaster (4%), HP (3.2%), Bing Ciao (3.1%), Terra Shopping Sites (2.8%), Paguito.com (2.4%), and Wal-Mart (2.3%).

In the group purchasing and 'flash sale' categories, the main players as of June 2011 were: Clickonero (814,000 unique visitors), Groupalia (469,000), Groupon (251,000), Privalia (233,000) Geelbe (33,000), and Hipxik (29,000).

The largest e-commerce category in Mexico, according to comScore figures, is Computer Hardware with 16.7% penetration, almost 4 points above the Latin American average. Other important categories are software (11.1%), consumer electronics (9.9%), fashion (8.2%), books (6%), and tickets (5.8%).

In terms of the number of people who regularly make purchases online, the aforementioned study conducted by Tec de Monterrey shows that 19% of Mexican Internet users already buy online and that the level of buyer confidence increased from 69% to 73% between 2010 and 2011.

Beyond shopping, the study also shows that 68% of Internet users are finding product information on the web and 22% are using it to make online reservations. Internet banking services are also being used by 16% of the online population, while online payment of taxes is only used by 8%.

Device connectivity in Mexico

While desktops and laptops are still the most widely used device by Mexican online users, mobile devices in Mexico are rapidly changing this scenario.  The new presence of devices such as tablets and smartphones is changing the ways Mexicans access the Internet.

According to the "Study on the Use of Digital Media Among Mexican Online Users" conducted by IAB, online tablet use in Mexico increased from 4% to 7% between 2010 and 2011.  This growth reached 8% among the segment’s 'super web surfers' (people who spend more than 5 hours online daily). Similarly, according to data from Mercado Libre, tablet offerings on their portal has grown 716% from June 2010 to date.

The device with the greatest growth among Mexican Internet users in 2011 was the smartphone, which rose 19 points in one year, from 14% to 33%.  Along with normal cell phones, smartphones have become the second most important device in Mexico for connecting to the web (57%), surpassing desktops (54%) and just a few steps behind laptops (62%).

Besides smartphones and tablets, another device offering Internet connection that stands out in Mexico are video game consoles, which achieved a 45% penetration among the Mexican digital population in 2011, accounting for 20% of all of the country’s Internet connections.

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