Uruguay flag Uruguay: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Uruguay


Internet access
As of June 2018, Uruguay had a population of 3.45 million people, out of which 3 million Internet users, placing the penetration rate at 88.2%. Furthermore, 85% percent of Uruguayan households have access to at least one computer, but when smartphones are included, that percentage increases to 94%. Smartphone adoption has increased substantially, as 74% of the population owned a smartphone in 2017, as opposed to 27% of the population in 2013 (El Pais). Tablets are the second fastest-growing internet access platform, especially among 65 years or older individuals, as there was a 375% usage increase from 2013 to 2017 in that age group. According to Nearshore Americas, more than 83% of households have access to the Internet. However, the government aims to provide Internet access to 90% of homes by 2020. Additionally, 43% of homes have high speed fiber optic cables, a rate that the government plans to increase to 65% by 2020. The government also provides early retirees with tablets so they can work online (170,000 tablets had been delivered by the end of 2017). In August 2017, Uruguay inaugurated its first submarine cable to the US to increase online speed (12,000 kilometers from Punta del Este, Uruguay to Fortaleza, Brazil and Boca Raton, Florida). Uruguay ranks first in Latin America in terms of broadband download speeds, with 20.11 Megabits per second, according to Net Index. As of July 2018, the most popular browser in the country by market share was Chrome (83.12%), followed by Safari (6.29%), Samsung Internet (3.03%, Firefox (2.49%), Android (1.21%), and Opera (1.13%). As for search engines, Google dominates the market Google (98.36%), followed by bing (1.04%) and Yahoo! (0.86%).
E-commerce market
There aren't any official figures on the e-commerce market value in Uruguay. However, it's estimated that the market represents 3.3% of Uruguay's total retail, and it grows 25% a year, exceeding the region's average (El País). According to the findings from Grupo Radar, more than eight out of ten users navigate the Internet to research brands and companies and it is estimated that almost 1.3 million Uruguayans made an online purchase in 2017. Given that only 45% of the population has a bank account and 40% of people have a credit card, cash on delivery is the popular payment method in Uruguay. 49% of orders are paid in cash, while 35% of payments are made by card, 9% bank transfers, and 5% e-wallets.The most popular items bought online are clothes, airline tickets, sporting goods, spare parts for vehicles and goods that are not easily found in-store or that are much cheaper online. Consumers in Uruguay tend to prefer picking up the products they bought over the internet, rather than having them delivered. Some of the most popular online stores are MercadoLibre, OLX and Woow.

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Latest Update: May 2024