Brazil is the fastest growing market in Latin America, hosting 7.3 percent
of worldwide Internet users. And the market is growing – according to
Nielsen NetRatings, Brazil added 7 million new users in 2007 (good for
third place worldwide in terms of new users) with another 3 million
added in 2008. That equates to more than 50 million Brazilian Web users,
the largest online market in Latin America. According to Nielsen and
Comscore, Brazil also leads the world in time spent online. In addition,
there are more than 120 million cell phones in use in Brazil.
So what does all that mean? In short, it equals
an open opportunity for Web professionals. In
order to better understand the Brazilian market,
Website Magazine enlisted the help of
Marcelo Sant’Iago, former President and
current Advisory Board member of IAB
(Interactive Advertising Bureau) Brazil as well
as General Manager for Midia Click, a performance-
based marketing agency in Sao
Paulo. Sant’Iago is also a frequent presenter at
top industry trade shows around the world,
including recently SES Chicago 2008.
WM: What domain extensions besides
.com should be considered if you want to
target a site for Brazil?
MS: .com.br is a must — there are more than
1.5 million .com.br domains today. Also, you
must have content in Portuguese, as well as
your ads. If you want to succeed, forget content
in English or Spanish.
WM: What are some of the best entry
points to get into the market in Brazil?
MS: The main destination of online advertising
budgets in Brazil goes to horizontal portals,
such as uol.com.br, terra.co.br, glogo.com,
ig.com.br, yahoo.com.br and msn.com.br. Two
years ago, Google opened an office in Sao
Paulo to sell sponsored links, and that will be
a factor. Currently just 3 percent of all advertising
budgets go to the Internet, but this is the
medium with the highest growth ratio during
the last few years.
WM: Are there any items or product categories
that are popular online purchases in
MS: I think it’s the same everywhere: electronics,
books, CDs, DVDs, notebooks and computer
accessories are popular. But the Web is
also a very popular source of information for
autos, real estate, and travel purchases in
WM: Where do users access the Internet,
and what is the average connection speed?
MS: Home is still the primary point of access,
but the LAN houses (cyber cafes) have an
important role for digital inclusion to the C
and D social classes. Around 10 million users
(20 percent) connect via broadband in Brazil,
but ADSL is the most popular.
Editor’s note: According to a 2008 Scarborough
Research report, U.S. broadband penetration is
about 50 percent.
WM: What are some online hotspots in
MS: Social networking websites reach 84 percent
of users, according to comScore, and
Orkut is the most popular, reaching 74 percent
of users. MySpace and Facebook have yet to
catch on. Google accounts for 89 percent of the
search engine market and the Brazilian version
of YouTube is also very popular. Instant messaging
is an absolute fever: MSN Live has more
than 35 million users and 4 million uniques
As far as shopping, local vendors submarino.com.br, americanas.com.br and mercadolivre.
com.br (eBay partner in Latin America)
are the most popular destinations. The local
domination can be partly attributed to the high
taxes for buying abroad.
Brazil Quick Facts
- Portuguese is the national
language and Real (R$1 real,
R$2 reais) is the currency.
You cannot use foreign
currency for local purchases.
- Carnival is a five-day
holiday in late February that
attracts millions, and is a
good target for the travel and
tourism industry. There are
Catholic holidays in June,
October and November, also
good for travel and tourism.
- Mother’s Day is the
second Sunday of May,
Father’s day is the second
Sunday of August.
- Valentine’s Day is June 12.
- Children’s Day is Oct. 12,
where children are given
gifts and, in some parts, it’s
bigger than Christmas.
- School summer vacations
are in January/February and
winter vacations are in July.