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Online sales would grow 36% this 2022

However, the e-commerce union in Colombia believes that the Christmas season will not be as good as last year.

Online sales would grow 36% this 2022
Online sales would grow 36% this 2022 | Image taken from

Cut to the third quarter of this year, $13.96 billion were billed with electronic commerce and the figure is close to 40% compared to the same period in 2021. Little by little, Colombians have lost their fear of buying online. And although only 13% of the people who live here already make orders online, with that it is enough to move billions of pesos through this modality. Álvaro Umaña, president of the Colombian Chamber of Electronic Commerce (CCCE), estimates that this 2022 sales through digital channels can grow by 36% compared to last year, when a not inconsiderable sum of $39.7 billion was billed. The union leader explained that, with a cut-off to the third quarter, there were sales of $13.96 billion, an amount that exceeded by 40% what was invoiced in the same period of 2021. However, the fall of the last Day without VAT -scheduled for past December 2nd—it will have a negative impact on the bottom line. “The cancellation of the third Day without VAT impacts the expected result for this Christmas season. Let's remember that within the categories that were exempt from the tax was the toy store, which is very important at this time; like everything that has to do with technology, household appliances and fashion”, commented Umaña. In addition, he stressed that due to the World Cup, there was a shift in demand because, generally, the highest soccer event stimulates television sales and many of these purchases have already been made in advance.

High prices do affect Although it sounds repetitive, the biggest problem facing the economy today is the high price that consumers are paying for almost all products and services available on the market. In fact, in November household spending already fell by 0.37% if compared to the same month last year. This was made known by the consulting firm Raddar, which confirmed that among the many causes of this brake is the high inflation that exceeds the purchasing power of the minimum wage. In that order of ideas, the president of the CCCE said that the expectations for this Christmas season are not as good as those that were last year. “Inflationary pressures mean that trade is not so dynamic. Many of the products that are consumed at Christmas time are imported, so we expect there to be a decrease in the volume of sales in this December season," he said. Umaña touched on another point in the economic anatomy that continues to be inflamed and causing discomfort: the dollar, which in 2022 reached a historic price of $5,061 and has largely been to blame for the increase in prices for products such as household appliances and technology. Despite this inconvenience, Colombians have been resilient and, as far as digital commerce is concerned, the average spend of those who place orders is $165,000. With this in mind, Umaña stressed that this ticket "has remained quite stable compared to the second quarter of this year, and has increased by 18.8% compared to the third quarter of 2021." "Why has it grown so much? Because the final prices that we have found in electronic commerce have increased with inflation and because of the dollar issue”, he added.

We need to grow According to the data managed by the CCCE, Colombia is the fourth country in Latin America with the highest penetration of digital commerce among its inhabitants and is behind Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. In Umaña's opinion, “comparing ourselves with Brazil and Mexico due to the size of their population is very difficult. However, Argentina could be the closest exercise to us and we really have a pretty wide lag compared to that country”. “Argentina —he added— is a country in which close to 40% or 50% of the population carries out electronic commerce on a daily basis. In Colombia so far we are reaching 13%, so there is a lot to work on, we have a big gap to close, which is everything related to trust”. A study just carried out by the CCCE, Amazon and the Centro Nacional de Consultoría showed that 30% of people still mistrust online transactions and therefore refrain from entering the digital world, "if we could close those gaps in trust in payments, in logistics, we could get closer to the figures that Argentina presents today ”, pointed out the president of the CCCE.

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By: Juan Camilo Quiceño Ramírez

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