Research Outline

Non-Shopping Cart E-Commerce Trends


Identify trends in the non-shopping cart related e-commerce industry in Costa Rica. This may include e-commerce conducted through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and payment via bank transfers to small businesses. Furthermore, determine the influence of food-delivery apps like Rappi and Uber Eats on on-line spending among Costa Ricans.

Early Findings

Trends in E-Commerce through WhatsApp and Messenger

  • Among e-commerce stores, 68% conduct business through social networks like WhatsApp and Facebook, 11% use an online store, and 21% use both.
  • Businesses in Costa Rica are using WhatsApp to maintain connections with clients, notify clients about the purchasing process, and respond to customers' questions.
  • Costa Rican clients tend to use Messenger more frequently than WhatsApp to contact businesses, even though businesses tend to rely more on WhatsApp.

Influence of Food Delivery Apps

  • Uber Eats suggests that it has helped increase the sales of restaurants owned by women in Costa Rica.
  • McDonald's Costa Rica saw a 112% increase in sales with home delivery between 2018 and 2019 due to the rise of apps like UberEats and Glovo.

Other Relevant Trends

  • Las Pérez is an e-commerce platform that offers more than 300 products from 10 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • Sula is a tool that businesses can use to offer online payment, which facilitates the transition of SMEs to the e-commerce industry. Sula has 25 affiliated businesses, and is growing at a rate of 40% annually.
  • Pymexpress is another platform that provides logistics solutions for SMEs. The businesses reported a 200% increase in deliveries in one year.
  • 89% of the Costa Rican population has made a purchase over the internet.
  • Total e-commerce spending in Costa Rica reached $442 million in 2015 and it is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8.7% until 2020.