Costa Rica E-Commerce Trends

Goals

To have more trends and stats on where Costa Rica is heading in ecommerce.

Early Findings

Ecommerce Trends in Costa Rica: Buying from Asia and Buying Online

  • Costa Ricas are buying from sites like wish.com, a Chinese website with low prices that posts directly to Costa Rican households. The Costa Rican Postal Service (Correos de Costa Rica), has had to open new offices to deal with a backlog of deliveries because of the overwhelming number of orders received from Asia.
  • Consumer trading sites like Mercado Libre, a subsidiary of eBay, are popular, along with Clasificados, Rematico.com, Craigs List Costa Rica and Locompreaqui.com.
  • The Costa Rican government invested in a new system Mer-Link, an e-bidding website, developed by the South Korean government.

Delivering Goods Bought Online

  • Costa Rica's mail service works with over 600 small and medium businesses in the distribution of ecommerce packages nationally, through a service called Pymexpress. The postal app and its website allow consumers to monitor the delivery of their goods and arrival date. There are also tools for SMEs who don't have the means to run their own online store.
  • Some 20,000 packages are delivered monthly through Pymexpress (in 2018), but with a monthly growth rate of 15% in clients.
  • Acceptation by Costa Ricans of online purchases has been spurred by their uptake of other online services like Netflix and Uber, and by their use of stores like Wish and Amazon.

Future Proposals to Massify Ecommerce

  • Expo IT COMM in Costa Rica is pushing two key projects that would further push the country's move towards digital shopping. The idea being that digital payments become more integrated into daily life and break with old shopping cultures.
  • These projects include eBus - paying for publicly transport digitally, and eTax - online taxes.
  • In terms of developing access, talent, and infrastructure, the expo outlined the need for a "cluster" between the government, universities, companies.

Proposed next steps:

You need to be the project owner to select a next step.
Given the role of consumer mentality and digital readiness in shaping their digital consumer life, we suggest researching surveys and census into the Costa Rican education, awareness, and openness towards ecommerce, with at least 6 key insights and descriptions and stats into them for a 3-hour research job.
An alternative path could be to look into the role the government is playing in pushing policies that facilitate digital and tech development, particularly online, with at least 6 key insights and descriptions and stats into them for a 3-hour research job.