Marketing your Business

Feeling the Lasting Effects of the Downturn

The Brazilian consumer market has been suffering the impacts of the recent economic downturn. While in the past, consumers showed greater loyalty to brands, this is no longer the case. Skyrocketing household debts are also to blame for this trend.

Brazilian consumers are shying away from luxury and high-end brands and turning to more affordable alternatives. Brazilians are increasingly shopping at discount stores for anything from groceries to apparel and have become more receptive than ever to aggressive pricing and special offers.

The rise of the smartphone in Brazil has lead to a dramatic increase in online sales, which is an opportunity for foreing businesses looking for an inexpensive way to foray into the Brazilian market.

Mobile Internet Use

Mobile Internet use has skyrocketed in Brazil in comparison to traditional fixed-line online connections. In 2016, there were 81.4 million mobile phone Internet users in Brazil, which accounted for nearly 40 percent of the Brazilian population according to Statista. By 2021, these figures are forecast to increase to 112.7 million and 51.8 percent. The leading mobile app in the country is WhatsApp with a 93 percent reach. Facebook ranks second with 79 percent, followed by YouTube and Instagram.

According to ABComm (Brazilian Association of Electronic Commerce), roughly 30 percent of consumer goods were bought in 2016 using mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Faced with continuing growth in e-Commerce, U.S. companies looking to sell in Brazil need to improve the mobile experience for customers. According to GSMA, Brazil is expected to end 2016 with 42 million 4G connections, an increase of 87 percent over last year.

Social Media

In 2013, the Wall Street Journal bestowed Brazil with the title of “Social Media Capital of the Universe.” Social media is the ideal way for U.S. companies to market to Brazilian marketers. Brazilian users are among the world's most engaged, spending an increasing amount of time on social media. Over 100 million Brazilians use some type of social media on a daily basis. Facebook and WhatsApp are the leading social networks in the country, followed by Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Twitter. For social media marketers targeting Brazil, this popularity opens up unprecedented opportunities. For U.S. companies targeting Brazil, it is important to understand the importance of social media. [1]

Major Buying Holidays

Brazil has five holidays where retail sales increase:

  • Christmas         
  • Mother’s Day (second Sunday in May)
  • Valentine’s Day  (June 12 in Brazil)
  • Father’s Day 
  • Easter (second Sunday in August)             

There are four other dates where retail sales also grow: Carnival (holiday), Children’s Day (commemorative date), Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. [2]


  1. AT Kearney. "ECommerce Index."
  2. The Brazil Business "Shopping Seasons in Brazil"

207 million

Median Age:

31.8 (2016)

Internet Use:

55% (90th)

Most Popular Social Network:

Facebook (30M users)