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Q4 is no longer as important for Latin American retailers

The last three months of the year used to be a make-or-break period for retailers, but consumers in Latin America are now spreading out their digital purchases over the entire year.

Anchored by Black Friday and Christmas, Q4 historically accounted for the bulk of consumers’ online spending for the year. However, other shopping events—like Hot Sale in Argentina and Mexico, or Father’s Day in Brazil—have grown in popularity, giving retailers a sales boost in Q2 and Q3.

Key Highlights

Consumers’ new spending habits have diminished Q4’s importance as a revenue driver. Five of the 12 retailers we analyzed generated more sales in Q2 2021 versus Q4 2021, underscoring Q2’s significance for retailers’ bottom lines.

  • For nine companies, Q4 represented more than 30% of their total retail ecommerce sales in 2019. Two years later, just four players had Q4 sales shares above 30%.
  • These shifts had the biggest impact on Walmart’s ecommerce business in Mexico and Central America. Q4 accounted for more than half of the retailer’s total ecommerce sales in 2018. Three years later, Q4 made up a bit more than one-third of its ecommerce sales.

Looking Ahead

To entice buyers throughout the year, retailers should ensure adequate inventory and run effective marketing campaigns and promotions. This will help bolster sales and keep retailers top of mind as competition for discretionary income intensifies.

Successful retailers will likely spread sales more evenly across all four quarters in the coming years. Players like Magazine Luiza, Mercado Libre, and Via are already on track to do so, while retailers like Liverpool and Walmex lag in this regard.

Read the full 2022 Latin America Retail Ecommerce Players Update report.