October 10, 2013, 10:14 AM

eBay jumps into the Brazilian market mobile-first

The marketplace launches a fashion mobile app to prepare for an e-commerce site.

Lead Photo

The online marketplace's fashion mobile app for Brazilians with iPhones or Android smartphones.

During the next four years, as much as 91% of Internet user growth will come from Brazil, Russia, India and China (the four countries collectively known as BRIC) and emerging markets, predicts research firm Euromonitor International. In Brazil, 36% of the country’s Internet users will make retail purchases online in 2013, finds research firm eMarketer.

Opportunity is knocking and eBay Inc. is answering, launching eBay Moda, a fashion mobile commerce app for Brazilians with iPhones or Android smartphones. The app enables users to toggle between Portuguese, the primary language of Brazil, and English. Prices are shown in Brazilian reais as well as U.S. dollars.

The app features three sections. Events displays all current sales. Inspirations allows consumers to shop via blogs and articles to create a look. And My Feed lets users personalize their app home screen with their own interests through the eBay product and content feed as well as view country-specific deals and events.

The smartphone app will be followed in the next 12 months by a Brazil-specific e-commerce web site in Portuguese, says Luis Arjona, eBay’s head of local operations in Brazil.

“EBay is committed to enabling consumers to shop the world, and now we are focusing specifically on Brazilian shoppers,” Arjona says. “The eBay Moda fashion app, specifically designed with Brazilian shoppers in mind, gives them access to the world’s fashion inventory at attractive prices, anytime/anywhere.”

Fashion is the largest category on eBay globally, driving more than $3.5 billion in gross merchandise volume for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, eBay reports. In 2012, the fashion category grew approximately 18% year over year, eBay adds.

EBay owns 18.4% of Mercado Libre, a Latin American online marketplace and auction site akin to eBay.

Mobile commerce represents a small fraction of total web sales in Brazil, but mobile sales are growing fast. Mobile sales as a percentage of web sales went from nothing in June 2010 to 0.3% in June 2011 to 1.3% in June 2012 to 3.6% in June 2013, finds Brazilian Internet research firm e-bit. Those figures exclude travel, tickets, daily deals and marketplaces. By comparison, mobile sales will account for 13% of web sales in the U.S. in 2013, up from 9% in 2012, the 2014 Internet Retailer Mobile 500 says.

Total B2C e-commerce sales among the top 400 e-retailers in Latin America reached $12.2 billion in 2012, according to the 2013 Internet Retailer Latin America 400. There are 88.5 million Internet users in Brazil, 26.7 million online shoppers, and 265.6 million mobile phone connections, according to the Latin America 400.

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