Amazon has begun to flesh out its plan for Latin-America’s largest market, announcing on Wednesday it will begin to sell fashion and sportswear through its Brazilian website.
One of the few western e-commerce companies capable of navigating Brazilian logistics, Amazon has been moving to enter into the marketplace for some time. Last October, the e-tailer said it would start selling electronics in Brazil, adding weight to a retail strategy that, then, consisted primarily of book sales.
Now it appears the internet retail giant is prepping a full-on Brazilian invasion, Reuters reported.
Amazon shoppers from Brazil will have access to as much as 300,000 products, including Brazilian mainstays like Havaianas flip-flops and espadrilles to Levi’s jeans. Local high-end Brazilian fashion designers, like Reinaldo Lourenco, will also have products available on the platform.
Although the Brazilian economy can only be described as “volatile” in the current climate, there have been recent signs of growth. This, and the fact that Brazil is the world’s eighth largest economy (with just 5 percent of retail going to e-commerce) has Amazon chomping at the bit to become a leader in online retail throughout the region.
After reports surfaced that Amazon was looking to buy a warehouse near São Paulo earlier this year, many familiar with the company assumed this would lead to a larger push for e-commerce in Brazil. Amazon currently has 106 positions posted on its jobs site for São Paulo, including brand specialists and category leaders for retail.
Most of the over 300,000 new products Amazon is expected to add to its Brazilian site will come from third-party vendors that will be required to deliver their own packages without assistance from Amazon.
But the e-commerce giant will have some work to do on its appeal in the region.
Roughly 20 percent of Brazilian Amazon reviews are currently negative, with the majority of those complaints centered around late delivery, Reuters reported citing data from e-commerce analytics firm Marketplace Pulse. Compare that to the 4 percent negative review rate in the United States—which has comprehensive fulfillment options—and a picture begins to form of the challenges the company might face.
Amazon’s primary challengers in the region don’t face the same difficulties. Brazilian retail leaders like Mercado Libre and Magazine Luiza offer fulfillment through their own warehouses, though Amazon is looking to even the playing field. When the announcement came out that it was looking for space to build its warehouse, competitor’s stocks dropped an average of 3 percent by the end of the day.