Month: <span>October 2018</span>

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Internet, Credit Card Access Key for E-commerce in LATAM: comScore VP Ivan Marchant
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Internet, Credit Card Access Key for E-commerce in LATAM: comScore VP Ivan Marchant

What: comScores Ívan Marchant talks with Portada about the e-commerce landscape in Latin America and what to expect next.
Why it matters: The region is enjoying double-digit e-tailing growth with “real competition” between players and increased mobile internet access driving more and more online purchasing.

Increased internet penetration and availability of credit cards hold the keys to a bright future for e-commerce in Latin America, made even brighter by the recent opening of the cell phone market in Mexico, according to comScore Vice President Ivan Marchant.

A “world of opportunities” is how Marchant, vice president of comScore sales in Mexico, Peru and Central America, describes the e-commerce horizon in the region.

E-commerce in Latin America has lots of room to grow.

E-commerce in Latin America, he says, has “lots of room to grow.”

comScores internet usage monitoring platform tracks the internet behavior of an estimated two million users.

From Marchants perspective, online retailers in Latin America are engaging in “real competition,” but small- and medium-sized businesses have yet to fully get into the game. A concentration of e-commerce sales to consumers in the upper and upper-middle classes he says, needs to spread to a wider distribution of economic levels.

Internet access driving e-commerce growth
E-commerce starts to take off when half the population in any given market acquire internet access, Marchant said in a recent phone interview with Portada.

And increased mobile phone accessibility in Latin America, he said, is opening up internet access to millions.

In the case of Mexico, recent reforms to laws regulating the countrys cell and fixed-line networks, controlled for years by telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim, have lowered cell phone service costs and driven e-commerce growth to new highs.

Since telecommunications legal reforms were undertaken in Mexico in 2013, mobile broadband subscriptions increased by 50 million between 2012 and 2016, according to a study by the OECD.

E-commerce in Mexico is being held back, however, by credit card access below that of other Latin American countries, coupled with fewer opportunities to use debit cards to make online purchases.

LATAM e-tailing to grow by 19%
As recently reported by Portada, e-commerce in Latin America is expected to grow by 19% in the next five years – well above the global average of 11%. Online sales in Latin America will double to $118 billion by 2021.

But Latin America has yet to catch up with the US, where online retailing makes up 5 percent of GDP. The average in Latin America is 2 to 3 percent, according to Marchant.

Brazil leads the region in e-commerce thanks to internet penetration of 75 percent, its larger population and higher credit card usage.

Argentina holds second place, followed by Mexico where online sales grew by 30% between 2016 and 2017.

“The entire region is growing in double digits,” Marchant says.

Since telecommunications legal reforms were undertaken in Mexico in 2013, mobile broadband subscriptions increased by 50 million between 2012 and 2016.

MercadoLibre the leader
According to data from comScore, MercadoLibre is the most visited e-commerce site in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. B2W Digital takes first place in Brazil.

“MercadoLibre is way ahead in audience,” Marchant says.

While Samsung and Falabella occupy second place in Argentina and Chile respectively, Amazon now has the second-most visited e-commerce site in Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

“Amazon is growing rapidly,” Marchant said, while MercadoLibre enjoys an advantage from having been in Latin America long before Amazons arrival in the region.

Travel purchases, including airline ticket sales, make up 50-60% of all e-commerce in Latin America, according to Marchant.

“Its definitely a travel market.”

The entire region is growing in double digits.

Purchases of computer hardware and software are also important, with fashion and clothing popular among e-commerce consumers in Mexico.

Seeing into e-commerces future in LATAM
Future opportunities for e-commerce growth in Latin America include the sale of groceries and artwork online, Marchant says.

Online sales of artwork are big in the US, but the same has yet to be seen in Latin America.

Both Walmart and Superama in Mexico have begun to sell groceries online, but in general, Latin America “is far from” where the US is in these important e-commerce sales categories, Marchant said.

Walmart, however, has made a lot of personnel changes in Mexico in an attempt to be a bigger e-commerce player.

The “most important opportunity,” regionally, Marchant says, is to get small- and medium-sized business to begin to do business with their customers online.

Mark A. Browne
Mark A. Browne is Portada's Marketing Innovation Editor. He is a bilingual (EnglishSpanish) writer, media relations manager, and content creation professional with an established record providing journalism, copywriting and analytical content services to major publishers, PR agencies and businesses in the United States, Latin America and Europe. His award-winning career as a reporter and editor includes daily and weekly newspaper experience and free-lance writing for major print and online publications.

Original Article

SALES LEADS LATAM: Walmart, Hilton, Mercado Libre…
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SALES LEADS LATAM: Walmart, Hilton, Mercado Libre…

A summary for Corporate Marketers, Media Sales Executives and Advertising Agencies to see what clients are moving into the market and/or targeting Latin American consumers right now.

For prior Sales Leads LatAm editions, click here.

Walmart Inc will acquire Latin American food delivery service Cornershop for US$225 million, it said in a move to ramp up its online grocery business in Mexico and Chile. The deal mirrors Walmarts growing investments and tie-ups in online delivery services across the globe, as it aims to compete with Amazon.com Inc, the worlds largest online retailer. Shares of the retail companys Mexico division, known as Walmex, jumped more than 3% on the news, closing at their highest level since late July. Walmarts acquisition of three-year-old Cornershop, which offers its service through a mobile app and was founded in San Francisco, will help it quicken deliveries for its Walmart, Superama and Sams Club stores in Mexico, according to analysts.

Hilton announced its partnership with all-inclusive specialist Playa Hotels & Resorts to grow Hiltons portfolio of all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Latin America. If Playa sounds familiar, its because it is the same company that Hyatt worked with back in 2015 to launch Hyatts two all-inclusive resort brands, Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara.Hiltons alliance with Playa includes the addition and renovations of two all-inclusive resort properties that will be owned and managed by Playa. Unlike Playas partnership with Hyatt, Hilton has decided to use the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand for its all-inclusive properties, rather than launch new ones.one about the future of travel. SubscribeThe two initial resorts to be added under this partnership by the end of 2018 will be the Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Resort (formerly known as the Dreams La Romana), and the Hilton Playa del Carmen, an All-Inclusive Resort (formerly The Royal Playa del Carmen). Hilton and Playa have plans to open eight more all-inclusive resorts together by 2025. Luis Perillo, Hilton VP, Sales & Marketing, Caribbean & Latin America and a member of Portada´s Travel Marketing Board, will be part of PortadaNY next Sept 24&25.

GUESS, the global lifestyle brand famous for its iconic ad campaigns, and their timeless trend setting denim are teaming with multiple Latin Grammy Award Winner J Balvin to introduce GUESS Vibras. The 7-piece capsule of concert merchandise is set to launch September 19th on tour with J Balvin and will be sold at select GUESS stores near the concert locations days leading up to each performance.“My partnership with GUESS, a brand that has strong roots in the Latin community, not only aligns with my personal brand, but with my community and fanbase as well,” says J Balvin. The exclusive 7-piece GUESS Vibras collection, which is inspired by Balvins chart-topping “VIBRAS” album, and his personal style. Established in 1981, GUESS operates 1,061 retail stores in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The Company and its licensees and distributors operated in approximately 100 countries worldwide.

Mercado Libre

Mercado Libre, one of Latin Americas leading e-commerce technology company, selected Talkdesk, an enterprise contact center platform, to power and optimize their customer service and sales teams. Mercado Libre will deploy Talkdesk Enterprise Contact Center Platform to their teams in Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Brazil. Supporting both sales and contact center operations through multiple platforms proved to be a costly and inefficient use of resources. Moving to Talkdesk Enterprise Contact Center Platform will allow Mercado Libre to drive operational efficiencies, reduce costs and increase revenue.

2018 NETWORKING SOLUTIONS. To find out about Portada's new networking solutions targeting the decision makers of the below campaigns, please contact Sales Manager Isabel Ojeda at [email protected]

Treebo Hotels

Ruptub Solutions, which owns and operates budget hotel chain Treebo Hotels, is planning to enter homestay business as it seeks to tap the nascent but fast-expanding non-hotel accommodation, a popular option among new-generation travellers.Encouraged by the potential in the budget hotel segment, the app-based hotel aggregator is also preparing to set its foot in “India-like” markets in a bid to scale up its business and have a diversified customer base.Buoyed by the potential of budget hotels in emerging markets, Treebo is studying markets such as South Asia, South East Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa for an entry.Treebo plans to double the number of hotels registered on its platform to 800 by 2019 from the current 400.

2018 NETWORKING SOLUTIONS. To find out about Portada's new networking solutions targeting the decision makers of the above campaigns, please contact Sales Manager Isabel Ojeda at [email protected]

Celeste Martorana @celesmartorana
Celeste joined Portadas team in 2014. Since then, she has been working as an editor for Portadas English-language website and compiling information for Portadas Databases.

Original Article

Chile abuse priest Fernando Karadima removed by Vatican
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Chile abuse priest Fernando Karadima removed by Vatican

Pope Francis has removed the priest at the centre of Chile's clerical sex abuse scandal.

In a statement, the Vatican said the pontiff had defrocked Fernando Karadima for "the good of the Church".

The 88-year-old former priest had previously been sanctioned to a lifetime of "penance and prayer" for having sexually abused minors.

In June, the Pope accepted the resignations of three Chilean bishops in the wake of the scandal.

They included the controversial Juan Barros who was accused of covering up sexual abuse committed by Karadima in the 1980s and 1990s.

'I was forced to swim naked with our priest'
'How I escaped the priest who abused me for decades'

The resignations came as two Vatican envoys travelled to Chile to investigate the claims and advise dioceses how to respond.

Police and prosecutors in Chile also raided offices and seized documents from the Catholic Church in the capital Santiago and in the city of Rancagua.

Karadima was found guilty of abusing teenage boys over many years in a Vatican investigation in 2011. He was not removed from the Vatican at that time and denies wrongdoing.

'Pain and shame'
He was not subject to a criminal prosecution in Chile because of the country's statue of limitations and is believed to be living in a care home in Santiago.

Pope Francis said he felt "pain and shame" over the scandal, which has rocked the Catholic Church in Chile.

Child sexual abuse and the Catholic Church: What you need to know
Chile protesters challenge Pope on Church sex abuse

But the pontiff became involved in the controversy surrounding Juan Barros in January when he said that allegations against the bishop amounted to "slander".

About 80 Roman Catholic priests have been reported to authorities in Chile for alleged sexual abuse over the past 18 years.

Under Pope Francis, a Vatican committee has been set up to fight sexual abuse and help victims.

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Petrobras hit with $853m corruption fine
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Petrobras hit with $853m corruption fine

Petrobras, Brazil's state oil company, has agreed to pay more than $853m (£650m) to the US and Brazil, ending a long-running corruption investigation.

The probe stemmed from a bribery scheme at the firm, which involved millions in payments that were concealed from investors and regulators.

The payments were facilitated by executives at the "highest levels", including the firm's board, the US Department of Justice said.

Brazil is to receive 80% of the money.

Authorities in the US – where Petrobras is listed on the stock exchange – agreed not to prosecute in exchange for the remainder of the funds.

"Those who choose to access our capital markets while failing to disclose the corrupt activities of company executives will be held accountable," said US Attorney Zachary Terwilliger.

The payments were uncovered as part of Brazilian money laundering investigation at a petrol station, before widening to uncover corruption involving some of the country's top politicians and biggest companies, including Petrobras and Odebrecht.

Can Brazil's 'oil capital' bounce back after Petrobras scandal?

According to the Petrobras settlement's official account of the scandal, former executives funnelled payments from companies seeking business with the state to politicians, in some cases accepting part of the bribe themselves.

The payments were often concealed through fictitious costs or consultancy agreements, it says.

The full scale of the scheme, which took place between at least 2004 and 2012, is estimated at $2bn, of which more than $1bn went to politicians and political parties, the account says.

In a statement, Petrobras stressed that the agreement found that the company was also a victim of the scheme, which involved former executives, some of whom are now serving prison sentences in Brazil.

It said: "The agreements serve the best interests of Petrobras and its shareholders and put an end to the uncertainties, burdens and costs associated with potential litigation in the United States."

Under an order from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Petrobras has agreed to return $933m in gains stemming from the false financial statements.

That will be credited toward a $2.95bn settlement reached in a class-action suit brought by investors in New York.

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