One of my most popular blog posts is my ecommerce case study from when some friends and I started an ecommerce business in 2012. It gets hundreds of people viewing it each month and leads to lots of questions on twitter, linkedin and my blog.
I covered how we decided to launch an ecommerce, how we picked a product and how we validated the idea without spending lots money out of pocket. My goal was to share how we see the market and how you can validate any business idea without spending months and thousands of dollars to do it.
So what did we sell and what was the store called? We sold condoms on La Condonería.
In this episode, we cover the original case study, along with changes since I wrote the original post in 2015 and Magma Partners view on ecommerce in the region.
I hope you enjoy this style of episode of Crossing Borders. Please give me feedback in the comments or on social media on whether you did. If enough people like it, I can go through other industries that are popular in Latin America.
Colombia is one of Latin America’s biggest economies, yet traditional e-commerce has struggled to take a hold due to complex logistics challenges such as Colombia’s mountainous geography and lack of integration with international markets. Furthermore, many consumers in Colombia are still wary of online retail platforms and until recently, payments systems did not offer any options for the unbanked.
All that began to change when Rappi entered the market. Founded in 2015 as a grocery delivery service, Rappi has gone on to raise millions of dollars from US investors such as Y Combinator and Andreessen Horowitz for its intuitive app that allows users to order just about anything to their doorstep.
Rappi gained millions of users in Colombia and Mexico, as its founders quickly tackled issues like delivery logistics and offline payment systems that had long stumped e-commerce companies in Latin America. Rappi deliveries offer an immediacy that has helped skeptical consumers place their trust in online commerce. Furthermore, their cash-on-delivery payments system democratized mobile and electronic purchasing in Colombia and Mexico, where credit and debit cards remain relatively rare. (more…)
Mexico has all the right ingredients for an e-commerce boom: a young, tech-savvy population, rapidly increasing Internet penetration, and access to the world’s biggest e-commerce retailers, namely Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba. In fact, Amazon and Alibaba have been vying for territory in Mexico’s e-commerce space for the past three years, betting on explosive growth.
While Mexico accounts for 12.6% of Latin America’s online purchases, only 1.6% of Mexico’s retail spending is conducted online. As Latin America’s second-largest e-commerce market, Mexico is poised for an online retail boom as Internet services reach more and more of the population.
Mexico’s strategic location close to the United States has a lot to do with this market’s growth potential. As one of three partners in the US$1.2 trillion NAFTA trade deal, Mexico is uniquely well-connected to the US and Canada, making international e-commerce much more available to the population.