The Latin American Opportunity in Ecommerce

Ecommerce companies can maximize the reach of their localized websites by smartly identifying languages (and markets) that cross many borders. 

A recent analysis of nearly 500 U.S. Spanish sites revealed that visits from Mexicans represent about 15 percent of all website traffic to Spanish-language ecommerce sites, worldwide. And when excluding other Spanish-speaking countries, Mexican visits rise to more than 50 percent of traffic to those ecommerce sites.

Comparing average order values between U.S. Hispanic shoppers and Mexican shoppers provided another revelation. Typically, U.S. Hispanics spend 18 percent more per order than the U.S. average. But Spanish-speaking Mexicans spend 93 percent more per online purchase than U.S. Hispanics.

Another example: Colombia. It sports the third-largest economy in Latin America (surpassed only by Brazil and Mexico), and has experienced explosive economic growth in recent years.

Based on proprietary data, it's clear the increasing size of Colombia's middle class - and its increased access to the Internet - has led to impressive growth of online transactions on U.S. Spanish websites. Two noteworthy examples (among many):

- The U.S. Spanish site for one airline has seen a 40 percent increase in traffic and an 859 percent increase in bookings from Colombian consumers in just the last two years 

- One fashion brand's U.S. Spanish site has seen a 26 percent increase in traffic and a 41 percent increase in revenue from Colombia during the last year

The takeaway: A single website (localized for the U.S. Hispanic shopper, for instance) can become a portal to far more customers than you anticipate.