Latin American Internet Users: Key 2017 Trends

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As Internet penetration in Latin America continues to grow, companies need to stay abreast of trends among users so as to adjust their digital marketing efforts for maximum effectiveness, particularly when it comes to e-commerce. Here’s a look at some of the key trends we at Americas Market Intelligence are seeing for LatAm Internet users in 2017, based on our review of recent studies.

#1 Adblocking Is Less Prevalent in LatAm 

Beyond fraud and viewability issues, adblocking is another major concern for digital marketers. When it comes to Latin America, the good news for marketers is that adblocking is not as prevalent, at least thus far.


Need a deeper dive?


The 2017 Global Adblock Report from PageFair shows that in most Latin American countries, adblock penetration is 5-14% per online capita, compared to 15-24% in the U.S. and more than 25% in Canada and a number of European countries.

The average adblock penetration per online capita is 7% for Latin America, below the worldwide average of 11% and the North American and Western European averages of 18% and 20%, respectively.

Argentina has the highest adblock penetration in Latin America, with 14%, followed by Chile at 13%. Adblock penetration is significantly lower in other markets, including Uruguay (11%), Peru (10%), Mexico (9%), Ecuador (9%), Colombia (8%), Brazil (6%), Costa Rica (6%), Panama (5%), Puerto Rico (5%), El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua (all 4%).

#2 Mobile Drives Internet Use in Latin America

ComScore’s recent Digital Future 2016 report for Latin America highlighted the impact of mobile on the region’s Internet use in several ways:

  • A 29% increase in incremental Internet users in Brazil and a 12% increase in Argentina, all thanks to mobile
  • Mobile seems to boost online time in Latin America rather than cannibalize from desktop: the report shows a 270% increase in minutes spent online in 2016 in Brazil and a 263% increase in Mexico, driven mostly by mobile Internet use
  • Peak mobile phone and tablet usage in LatAm occurs between 7 and 10 a.m. and also go up starting at 5 p.m. until 12 a.m., while PC usage peaks from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Significant percentages of Internet users in Latin American countries are multiplatform users: 46% in Argentina, 43% in Chile, 42% in Colombia and 38% in Mexico
  • However, despite these mobile inroads, marketers should factor in that 66% of page hits in Latin America during 2016 came from desktops, versus nearly 34% from mobile

#3 Video Gains Ground in LatAm Social Media Usage

According to the 2016 State of Social Media in LatAm report from Shareablee, total video actions (likes, comments, shares and retweets for video content posted by brands) went up by 56% in Latin America between January and November 2016. The biggest growth was with Twitter at 373%, but there was also solid growth with Facebook (55%) and Instagram (50%).

While Brazil accounted for 42% of all video actions taken in Latin America in this time period, Peru actually grew the most in the amount of its users’ overall video actions: 287%. But Mexico (177%), Argentina (120%) and Chile (112%) also grew impressively.

Edge them put

But video is not just a necessary social media marketing tactic for brands because it spurs action in general, but because of the type of action it spurs:









While regular posts are shared 12% of the time, video posts are shared more than double the amount by Latin American social media users, suggesting brands will get much more traction by developing memorable videos for social media as opposed to other forms of content. The importance of sharing seems particularly high for certain types of sectors:












#4 Mobile Buying Strengthens in Latin America

A November 2016 report from IAB Colombia and Mercado Libre indicated that Latin American mobile buyers make 28% of their monthly purchases via mobile device, compared to 31% of global mobile buyers. The top 3 product categories that LatAm mobile buyers report buying are:

  1. Mobile Internet data
  2. Digital Content
  3. Services requested from a web page or app
Brazil leads mobile buying in Latin America in terms of frequency, with 22% of Brazilian mobile shoppers reporting that they make mobile purchases daily or weekly, compared to the global average of 23% that have this frequency.
Overall, the amount of mobile buyers around the world grew by 43% in 2016, but several LatAm countries are among the top 10 countries in mobile shopper growth: Peru (55%), Colombia (52%), Mexico (50%), Chile (46%), with Brazil coming in at #11 with 42% growth in mobile shoppers.

This research is very much in line with previous research and analysis done by AMI that projects that m-commerce will grow at double the rate of e-commerce in several Latin American markets over the next few years. Of course, merchants will need to keep innovating payment methods and find ways to leverage the prevalent power of cash in e-commerce transactions in the region.

#5 Digital Ad Response Still Strong in Latin America

Recently, Sizmek published its Rich Media and Video Benchmarks report, which offers a snapshot of how ads are performing on its platform and thus offer digital marketers guidance on ad format performances.

Latin America’s average click-thru rate (CTR) for standard banners is above the world average: .17% versus .16%. Its average CTR also outpaces that of North American, Europe and East Asia. The report also indicates that rich media is particularly effective in improving engagement with Latin American users, increasing it 8 times, a higher rate than any region in the world except Europe.

In addition, Latin Americans show high rates of interaction with interactive video: 11.4% versus the global average of 4.69%. This suggests that this format is well-worth exploring for brands, especially when the high rates of sharing for video in social media are factored in.

Contact Americas Market Intelligence to obtain strategic insights into the political, economic and cultural landscape in Latin America that will drive your business decisions successfully in areas such as healthcare, logistics, payment, consumer initiatives, natural resources, industrial, automotive and more.

Tags@Americas_MI2016 State of Social Media in LatAm report from Shareablee22% of Brazilian mobile shoppers reporting that they make mobile purchases daily or weekly42% in Colombia and 38% in Mexico43% in Chile66% of page hits in Latin America during 2016 came from desktopsA 29% increase in incremental Internet users in Braziladblock penetration braziladblock penetration chileadblock penetration colombiaadblock penetration is 5-14% per online capitaadblock penetration mexicoAdblocking Is Less Prevalent in LatAmadblocking latin americaAmericas Market IntelligenceAMIAMI Market ResearchAMI PerspectivaArgentina has the highest adblock penetration in Latin Americabest practices market intelligence latin americaBrazil accounted for 42% of all video actions taken in Latin Americacash e-commerce latin americaChile (46%)Colombia (52%)Competitive Intelligence in Latin Americacompetitive intelligence latin americadigital marketing latin americae-commerce transactions latin americahow many internet users in latin america?Internet penetration in Latin America continues to growinternet users in latin american countrieslatam mobile shopperslatin america digital marketing researchlatin america mobile buyer researchlatin america mobile device researchlatin america social mediaLatin America’s average click-thru rate (CTR) for standard banners is above the world average: .17%latin american internet usersLatin American mobile buyers make 28% of their monthly purchases via mobile deviceLatin American social media usersLatin Americans show high rates of interaction with interactive video: 11.4% versus the global average of 4.69%market intelligence latin americamarket research latin americaMexico (50%)most Latin American countriesmultiplatform latin americaonline marketing latin americapagefair latin americaPeak mobile phone and tablet usage in LatAm occurs between 7 and 10 a.m.research latin america internet usersseveral LatAm countries are among the top 10 countries in mobile shopper growth: Peru (55%)Significant percentages of Internet users in Latin American countries are multiplatform users: 46% in ArgentinaSizmek latin americastudy latin america internet userstech trends latin americatechnology latin americatechnology market latin americatechnology research latin americaThe average adblock penetration per online capita is 7% for Latin Americatrends latin americaversus nearly 34% from mobilevideo actions latin americawith Brazil coming in at #11 with 42% growth in mobile shoppers.
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