Challenges of ecommerce in Colombia – Electronic commerce in Colombia is progressing steadily. However, you still have to face certain challenges to realize your full potential.
E-commerce in Colombia experienced a boom last year that places it as the fourth country in volume of e-commerce in Latin America. Despite this, Colombia still presents a series of challenges that it must face in order to be in the top positions in terms of digital commerce in the region.
Electronic commerce in Colombia in 2019
According to the report Evolution of ecommerce in Latin America 2019 , Colombia ranks as the fourth Latin American country with respect to the volume of money moved through digital purchases . This volume stood at USD 7.6 billion in 2019 , representing an increase of 27% over the previous year. In fact, according to the same report, the country could become the third power in terms of digital commerce in the region by 2021 , positioning itself even ahead of Argentina.
Impact of COVID-19
Despite the fact that the pandemic has affected many sectors of the international economy, digital commerce has been one of the most benefited worldwide, including also the Colombian market. According to the report of the Ministry of ICT and the CCCE , between April 5 and May 3, 2020, electronic commerce in Colombia experienced an increase of 73% .
In addition, during the quarantine period, the retail and sports sectors suffered a very significant increase in online demand, with an increase of up to 209% in the case of the former and 187% in the case of the latter.
Challenges of ecommerce in Colombia
However, despite the fact that COVID-19 has acted positively regarding the volume of money moved by electronic commerce in Colombia (thanks in part to Contactless Delivery ), this sector still has to face a series of challenges that will determine its evolution in the next years. And, in fact, they constitute the most important element that could catapult ecommerce in Colombia to the top positions of the digital market in the region.
The main challenges of electronic commerce in Colombia are the following:
Lack of tradition in remote shopping
One of the main challenges of electronic commerce in Colombia is the lack of tradition in the sector. Although it is true that the younger generations show a greater tendency towards this type of shopping, the culture still exists that it is better to make purchases physically in nearby stores , remote purchases being reserved only for those occasions in which necessary or essential (for example, during confinement).
Low penetration of personal computers in some regions
Although, unlike other neighboring countries, Colombia has a better communications infrastructure network and a lower concentration of digital commerce only in the capital, there are still many people who do not have access to a personal computer. This constitutes a drag when making purchases online. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in electronic commerce thanks to the greater penetration of smartphone phones that, in many cases, replace the presence of a personal computer during the purchase process.
High investment costs in online systems and infrastructure
Finally, another of the main challenges facing e-commerce in Colombia involves the costs necessary for the digitization of businesses . Currently, many vendors are still reluctant to implement a digitization process for their business, citing the high costs of this process.
As you can see, e-commerce in Colombia is progressing at a good pace and, if it continues like this, everything suggests that it will become the third power in the sector in Latin America as of 2021. However, it is still necessary that digital commerce finish settling fully as an everyday option and not just as an alternative to traditional commerce. In this sense, greater digitization of businesses , as well as a reduction in the cost of digital penetration processes will help e-commerce in Colombia to develop its full potential in the coming years.