More than half of the Mexican population is online, with 65 million internet users. Of these, there are 18 million online shoppers. Traditionally, e-commerce in Mexico has been a slow starter, as many Mexicans are reluctant to trust websites with their personal credit card details. Nonetheless, even as a slow starting online shopping economy, this market was still worth over USD$2 billion in 2016.
However, the landscape is ever-changing and buying patterns are shifting, possibly in response to concerted efforts by large-scale retailers, like Amazon, Walmart, etc, to popularise e-commerce, by normalising e-shopping, and generally improving the online shopping experience. In fact, Amazon introduced cash payment facilities in 2017, to further boost online sales in Mexico, allowing consumers to deposit cash in convenience, which can later be used for online transactions.
Online penetration has improved in Mexico, as mobile phone subscriptions and telecom prices have decreased (mobile phone subscription prices dipped by 16.7% between February 2013 and January 2015). More and more Mexicans can afford to have mobile devices (90.3% of the population), and 48.2 million people were active social media users in 2015. Most mobile subscriptions are pre-paid, and this amounted to 83.6% of subscriptions in 2015.
While more and more Mexicans are making travel bookings online, like flights, and hotels, there is still an aversion to buying clothes from online retailers, due to a general mistrust of the postal service.
21% of internet users in Mexico are aged between 12 and 17 years; 18% are aged between 18 and 24 years; the same proportion is aged 25 to 34; while 13% are between 35 and 44 years old. 9% are aged 45 to 54, while 6% of the online population is over 55 years of age. A further 15% of users are young children, aged 6 to 11 years. A young online population, with access to cheaper smartphones, and manageable monthly subscriptions, is a fundamental target group for companies keen to engage with online shoppers in Mexico.
68% of internet users aged 13 – 70 in Mexico accessed the web from their smartphones in 2016, up from 62% two years previously. Smartphone internet use is increasing at a rate of around 10% per year, while fixed broadband subscriptions are growing by a much slower 1.5%.
95% of social media users in Mexico use Facebook, which had 51.8 million Mexican users in 2016, while 93% use WhatsApp, the instant messaging application – an increasingly important channel (particularly the groups’ functionality) for Mexican PR and social media agencies especially when doing inbound marketing campaigns. YouTube, Twitter and Instagram command 72%, 66%, and 59% respectively.