E-commerce sales grow 27% in 2021; food and drink stand out, reveals NielsenIQ|Ebit

Sales from e-commerce in Brazil grew 27% last year to R$182.7 billion compared to 2020, driven by strong category performance food and drink and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). The information is contained in Webshoppers 45 prepared by NielsenIQ|Ebit in collaboration with Bexs Pay.

“E-commerce is reaching a distinct sales mark, a direct result of greater nationwide penetration and Brazil’s options for ease of purchase through the digital environment,” said NielsenIQ|Ebito’s head of e-commerce, Marcelo Osanai. “Consumers are increasingly using the Internet to supply food, beverages, personal hygiene products, or these cheap products with high traffic,” he added.

Expressive growth during the first half of 2021, in total 41%, while the other half contributes 17% of sales compared to 2020. According to the research, the months from January to April drive sales growth in total e-commerce in 2021.

Growth is concentrated in the months from January to April, and the slowdown in the months from May to September.

The growth of sales in the online environment was accompanied by a significant number of new consumers. Last year, there were 12.9 million Brazilians who were first-time buyers, bringing the total number of consumers to 87.7 million. ON average map Total sales amounted to 441 BRL, 4% more than in 2020. New entrants, on the other hand, spent a slightly higher average amount, 454 BRL.

e-commerce cross-border, the one carried out with online stores from other countries, showed significant growth in 2021, above the general total of the Brazilian market. Compared to 2020, revenue grew by 60%, reaching R$ 36.2 billion.

For Luiz Henrique Didier Jr., CEO of Bexs Pay, the data shows Brazilians’ desire to consume foreign products. “There are shopping options and a variety of items with regard to online stores around the world, and Brazilians want to enjoy what is good abroad. The ease of being able to pay with local methods, such as Pix and Boleto, has increased interest in international online shopping. It is expected that this volume will grow even more in the coming years,” he says.

The survey was conducted every six months with the NielsenIQ Ebit online consumer panel, with a sample of 3,375 respondents in Brazil, between January 25 and 28, 2011.


The highlight of 2021 was the food and beverage category, which recorded a 107% year-over-year order volume increase, well above the rest of the e-commerce spectrum. For example, far ahead of the categories Baby & Company (34%), Construction & Tools (31%) and IT (24%).

However, as food and beverages have a lower value, the overall contribution to e-commerce revenue is reduced, only 2%, the same number as in 2020. The main driver of sales volume continues to be the categories of devices (21%), Telephony (20%), Home and decoration (11%) and Information technology (10%).

“E-commerce is still associated with electronics, mobile phones and home appliances, but the real movement is happening in food and beverages. It’s a habit that has solidified in 2021: Brazilians shop in the market to stock up on digital platforms,” said Osanai.


Products sold in markets, for example, had a significant increase in e-commerce, accelerating to 41.1% more than last year, compared to 17.2% in 2020 compared to 2019. In the food sector, the largest sales expansion was from Hortifrutigranjeiros (119.4%), Desserts and sweets (50.8%), Bomboniere (48.9%), Morning breakfast (29.2%) and Groceries (22.7%).

In 2021, the FMCG basket grows monthly, with a strong focus on increasing orders and spending during Black Friday.


As the consumer is increasingly connected and has a mobile device at hand, the importance of the mobile phone is increasing. Mobile devices will intensify their presence in e-commerce in 2021, with a share of 59% of all orders or 239.6 million of the total. Of the sales, 53% were generated through these devices or 95.4 billion BRL, which is 32% more compared to 2020.

“Last year, the mobile phone became the main means of shopping for Brazilians. With a mobile phone in hand, it is very easy to shop for supermarkets, medicine, clothes, home and decoration items, for example,” quoted the CEO of NielsenIQ|Ebit.

Companies also make it easy for users, so much so free delivery It is a powerful attraction tool. Webshoppers 45 shows that the number of orders without shipping costs increased by 10 points, reaching 47% of the total number in 2021.

The cross-section by region shows the consolidation of the movement that began in 2020: the importance of sales in all regions of the country. The North is still the least important region, but leads in terms of consumption share, with 31% of total sales in the country, followed by the South (29%), the Midwest (27%), the Northeast (23%) and the Southeast (21%).

The Southeast is the most important region for GMV in Brazil, contributing 58% of the country’s e-commerce growth.

Searching websites, social networks and typing in the name of the store are the main routes for stores.

delivery applications

The research was conducted with the NielsenIQ|ebit online consumer panel, on a sample of 3,178 respondents in Brazil, between February 2 and 16, 2022.

According to the study, most shoppers have looked to websites and apps as an alternative to shopping in the last 6 months. The number of customers in delivery apps from supermarkets and pharmacies has also increased.

35% of consumers shopped in supermarkets (+4 points compared to the previous semester); 37% bought at a pharmacy (+5 pp compared to the previous semester), and 69% bought ready-made food online at the pharmacy (-5 pp compared to the previous semester).

*An answer with several answers offered, the sum does not add up to 100%.

Practicality and special prices are the main motivators for the purchase delivery applications supermarket.


Webshoppers is the most authoritative study on Brazilian e-commerce and the main reference for professionals in the segment, conducted by NIQ Ebit since 2001. To download the entire report, visit: ebit.com.br.

NIQ Ebit ranks the reputation of online stores according to consumer ratings. The research ranks the reputation of online stores according to the ratings of the consumers themselves.

Read also: Retail should earn BRL 2.16 billion with Easter 2022, CNC points out

By Dinalva Fernandes, from the editorial office of E-Commerce Brasil

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