Mercado Libre in Times of Pandemic: More Revenue, More SellersBy Daniel González | Fri, 05/08/2020 - 11:19
By mid-April, Amazon became the overall winner of the pandemic. At that time, its stocks reached an all-time high on Wall Street, further increasing the personal fortunes of Jeff Bezos, the company’s CEO and Founder. Together with Amazon, the e-commerce departments of Inditex and LVMH also boosted founding partners Amancio Ortega’s and Bernard Arnault´s wealth. The global retail giants, despite the closure of stores in virtually every country in the world, had managed to survive the COVID-19 thanks to their online sales departments and their commitment to digitalization. Mercado Libre, one of the giants of Latin American e-commerce, has joined the winning club. Mercado Libre closed 1Q20 with a 37.6 percent increase in sales over the same period last year, reports the company the Argentina-based company, which earned US$652.1 million in January, February and March, according to their financial report.
Total revenues for each country are as follows: Brazil with US$397.4 million, Argentina with US$132.8 million and Mexico with US$94.7 million. All three are Mercado Libre’s top markets. However, Pedro Arnt, Director of Finance, recognized the impact that the expansion of COVID-19 has had on the company. “Although less affected than others, our business registered this impact, mainly during the first weeks of the imposed blockades, with a rebound throughout April,” Arnt said in the same financial report. The sections that benefited most from the global situation were Health, Food and Toys, while those related to cars and electronic devices were the most affected.
Mercado Libre has also increased its number of sellers due to COVID-19. Many SMEs that due to a lack of economic capacity or business vision had not planned on boosting their online sales, have found in Mercado Libre the ideal ally to undertake a new digital adventure. According to the company, during March and April, new sellers increased by 130 percent over previous months, becoming the largest increase in the history of the Argentinean company founded in 1999. “In Mexico, only 10 percent of SMEs have a digital presence. We have been offering orientation for new sellers for a long time and in the last few weeks we developed a training program for producers, micro, small and medium entrepreneurs in alliance with several state governments,” said David Geisen in a press release.
It is not only SMEs that have opted for Mercado Libre. Other retail giants such as C&A and Grupo Martí have also relied on the Mercado Libre platform to migrate their sales to digital platforms. The new arrival of sellers allowed more than three million users to make their first online purchase in Mercado Libre during 1Q20.