Interest in eCommerce in Latin America Runs High But Still a Nascent Market, New IDC Survey Finds

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., October 19, 1999 — Interest in eCommerce and eBusiness is high among Latin American companies, according to a new survey-based research study published by International Data Corporation (IDC). To better gauge the reception of this new Internet-induced market from a corporate perspective, IDC conducted interviews with nearly 500 companies in the Latin American region during June and July 1999.

Results of the survey reveal nearly 85% of companies indicated they are using or will evaluate using eCommerce within the next 2 years. However, actual implementation rates are relatively low with only 11% of companies currently using eCommerce. The finance industry is the most active industry segment adopting eCommerce in Latin America. Mexican and Brazilian companies indicated a higher degree of eCommerce activity than Argentine companies.

?Overall, Latin America-based eCommerce can be characterized as a very nascent ? but growing ? market,? said Alex Manfrediz, an analyst with IDC Latin America. ?It remains to be seen if this interest will translate into aggressive investments in the region or if this is simply overly optimistic projections fueled by the hype surrounding the Internet.?

The IDC study found even among companies considering themselves to be eCommerce-enabled, very few have real transactional capability. Most do not have full eCommerce functionality and some are simply web pages promoting their products. In addition, some companies seemed to equate the larger market of eBusiness (customer or supplier interaction conducted electronically) with the more functionally specific eCommerce (order placement made electronically) market.

IDC found the eCommerce software market is also limited in Latin America. Hence, most companies with existing or planned deployments indicated they would build their solutions in-house or use third party vendors (system integrators or VARs). Nonetheless, the region has caught the attention of the mostly U.S.-based eCommerce software vendor community (and investors alike). Recent alliances and product offerings from ISPs, portals, and systems integrators are providing Latin American-based companies desiring to exploit this new channel opportunity with more choices. Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to dominate the mindshare market among companies in the region, receiving the largest single vendor mentions for eCommerce solutions.

ECommerce deployments are continuing in the region even in the face of alleged Y2K anxiety. In general, solutions currently under implementation or being formally planned have greater functionality than existing deployed eCommerce solutions.

IDC's Latin America Corporate eCommerce Adoption, 1999 (IDC #W20578) study provides an analysis of eCommerce trends in Latin America (adoption patterns, profile of existing solutions, and software market trends) from the perspective of corporate end users. Select results are shown by country (Argentina, Brazil and Mexico), by company size (10-99 employees, 100-499 employees and 500+ employees), and by industry (communications/utilities, manufacturing, commerce/services, and finance).

The study is available for purchase by contacting Daniel Cardamone at 305-267-2616 or For more information about IDC's Latin America Research programs, please contact Beth Freedman or Lisa Bloom at 508-872-8200.

With a network of six country offices in Latin America and two regional offices ? in Silicon Valley, Calif. and Miami ? IDC provides full market coverage of PCs, mainframes, Unix systems and workstations, servers, desktop printers, professional services, local area networks, the Internet, telecom, RDBMS software, distribution channels, NT, and IT spending patterns in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela. IDC also conducts primary research in Peru, Ecuador, Central America, and the Caribbean. International Data Corporation is the leading supplier of IT market information on Latin America.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 42 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

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