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Local E-Commerce On The Move

by José Martínez

April 6, 2000
Copyright © 2000 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

The number of Internet users in Puerto Rico is growing and they’re spending more money, according to the most recent market study on Internet user behavior conducted by Transnational Tradeways Inc.

The study claims 30% of local Internet users completing at least one e-commerce transaction last year spent on average more than $3,000.

"The study shows that Puerto Rico consumers are starting to use the Internet as an alternative for acquiring things," said Ivan Irizarry, manager for Transnational Tradeways Inc. Latin America region.

The study reflected that among the 2,000 people interviewed that made e-commerce transactions last year, 19.5% spent between $20 and $100, 26.4% spent between $100 and $250, 24.1% spent between $300 and $800, another 24.1% spent between $1000 and $9000, and 5.7% spent between $10,000 and $20,000.

"These numbers are a wakeup call for local businesses to start defending their local market since it takes a minimum of six months to develop a good e-commerce solution," said Irizarry. "If they don’t jump into the Internet now, they will lose revenue to other companies that didn’t represent a threat in the past."

Irizarry added that the study’s results might serve as a catalyst for businesses to expand into other markets. If they decide to build a website with e-commerce capabilities, it should be a top-notch site that’s easy to use and attractive, not just a home page.

"The reaction from most of the local businesses is that they do plan to do something, but not now," said Irizarry. "It’s as if they’re waiting for something to happen."

According to a Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi study conducted last year, 56% of Internet users have made an on-line purchase, including downloading computer software. It predicted that in 2000 more than half a million Puerto Ricans would be surfing the Net, pushing e-commerce revenues as high as $31 million.

The number of local users will grow considerably as students and teachers are provided computers with Internet access. Already, local per capita Internet usage of 1-in-9 inhabitants overshadows Latin America’s ratio of 1-in-52 inhabitants.

What do Puerto Ricans buy on the Internet?
Source: Transnational Tradeways Inc.
12.1% Computers and equipment
11.4% Books
10.7% Clothes
9.4% Music
8.1% Computer Software
6.0% Furniture, appliances and accessories for home
5.4% Electronic Equipment
4.7% Automotive parts and accessories
3.4% Magazines
3.4% Sporting Goods
3.4% Travel
2.7% Collection items
2.7% Office equipment
2.0% Jewelry
2.0% Cars and Boats
2.0% Homes
2.0% Toys
2.0% Video/DVD
2.0% Art
1.3% Catalogs
1.3% Machinery/equipment
0.7% Encyclopedia
0.7% Prime materials
0.6% Personal Items
Average online Purchase by Puerto Ricans in the last 12 months
Source: Transnational Tradeways Inc.
19.5% $20 - $100
26.4% $100 - $250
24.1% $300 - $800
24.1% $1,000 - $9,000
5.7% $10,000 - $20,000

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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