In August and September of this year, we fielded a survey of online retailers in Brazil together with partner e-Commerce Brasil, an established industry organization. The goal was to better understand key performance indicators (KPIs) in Brazil as well as retailers’ priorities, challenges and the size and composition of eCommerce teams.

We received over 300 responses to our survey and have just published the first in our three-report series based on the survey. Retail eCommerce In Brazil: Key Metrics provides a look at over a dozen KPIs such as conversion rates, average order values, return rates as well as sales driven by smartphones and tablets. Our report analyzes the data by retailer type (web-only, traditional retailer or manufacturer selling direct) as well as by retailers’ total online revenues and tenure.

A few findings from the report:

Conversion rates in Brazil average 1.9%. In Brazil, we found conversion rates that varied quite a bit by type of retailer, with web-only retailers reporting the highest conversion rates. These rates tend to increase as markets evolve: Our previous research on The State of Retailing Online 2014: Key Metrics & Initiatives conducted with yielded an average conversion rate of 2.7% for the US.

Smartphones drive 7% of online sales, but tablets are not far behind. Our survey revealed that online retailers in Brazil see 7% of their total sales occurring via smartphones – what’s interesting, however, is that tablets drove almost the same percentage of sales as smartphones. There is a tendency to assume that in fast-growing emerging eCommerce markets, mobile sales are almost entirely smartphone-centric. In Brazil, however, the tablet opportunity should not be ignored.

Return rates are low but set to grow.Overall product return rates in Brazil came in at 4%, a figure that paints an attractive picture of the market for global online retailers that are used to far higher rates in the US and Europe (the returns percentage in the Forrester/ study was 12% for the US). Indeed, in Brazil – as in many other markets without a history of catalog retail – there is less of a culture of returning products purchased remotely. Brazil’s returns rates may inch up with time, however, as online retailers streamline and promote their returns policies.   

I’ll be in São Paulo presenting our findings and providing an in-depth look at the data at an event on November 11th. We hope to see many of you there!