Selling online from North America to Latin America

A grow­ing number of U.S. online retailers and consumer brand manufacturers are taking that challenge on by setting up shop and selling online in Latin America.

It wasn’t quite the same as graduating from the e-commerce school of hard knocks, but after six years of trial and error Tradercom USA Inc. has learned some valuable lessons about what works—and what doesn’t—in selling online in Latin America.

In 2006, Tradercom CEO Federico Torres set out to build an online retailing business in Latin America from a base in the U.S. To carve out a niche in Latin America’s growing business-to-consumer e-commerce market, which eMarketer estimates will grow about 110% from $29.70 billion in 2011 to $62.42 billion in 2016, Tradercom had ambitious plans to build a web store in multiple countries and offer steep discounts on well-known American products such as Fossil watches and Weber grills that are not always available through merchants in Latin America.

Latin America E-Commerce - Selling Online to Latin America

Latin America E-Commerce – Selling Online to Latin America

But selling online in a foreign country is never easy, especially in Latin America, a fast-growing and still-developing e-commerce arena where U.S. merchants face several substantial barriers to entry, including big tariffs and government red tape, sketchy local delivery options, and plenty of cultural differences. “There is a huge opportunity for U.S. web merchants such as us to develop a significant e-commerce business in Latin America, but there are significant challenges that we had to work our way through.” Torres says. “It took us a long time, lots of patience and a willingness to always try a new approach to build up a steady base of shoppers.”

Today Tradercom is an estab­lished and growing online retailing company. The e-retailer carries a web inventory of about 100,000 SKUs and sells online in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Sales for the web-only retailer are on track to reach $8 million in 2012, double its 2011 sales.

Tradercom is one of a grow­ing number of U.S. online retailers and consumer brand manufacturers setting up shop and selling online in Latin America. The market already includes 25 U.S. companies ranked in the Top 300 Latin America, which in 2011 had combined web sales of $1.43 billion, up 32.4% from $1.08 billion in the prior year.

And more North American online retailers are seriously eyeing Latin America for a new interna­tional opportunity or expanding their existing base of operations. For example Apple Inc. (No. 11), which has been selling computer hardware online in Latin America for several years, in December 2011 launched an iTunes store with a catalog of 20 million song titles for Brazil and 15 other countries in Latin America.

Consumers in Latin America also are big fans of mobile commerce and social media, and looking to conve­niently shop online for the products they can’t find in local stores, says Kent Allen, principal and founder of The Research Trust, a San Francisco-based e-commerce and retailing industry research firm with clients in the U.S. and Latin America. “There’s only a handful of global e-commerce markets left where there are still lots of ground-floor opportunities to be the next category-killer web store, hot niche player or even the next Amazon, and that’s Latin America,” Allen says. “E-commerce in Brazil, Mexico and other parts of the region are still in an early growth stage and that’s attracting the attention of lots of U.S. merchants.”

Source: Internet Retailer


#wordsofwisdom adds Chilean-inspired tee to benefit disaster relief

SOBO Concepts LLC, owner of, a leading online store for fashion and products showcasing top Latin American brands and designers, today debuted its new “Condorito Fuerza Chile!” t-shirt to show support and provide financial assistance for disaster relief in Chile.

Chilean-inspired tee to benefit disaster relief

Chilean-inspired tee to benefit disaster relief

“As a U.S. company that represents the best of Latin American brands and Latin-influenced products, we also have a responsibility to support what’s happening in this region of our world, and reach out to help,” said Dean Schwartz, President of SOBO Concepts. “Our thoughts are with the Chilean people, and this t-shirt is just a small gesture of support and financial assistance for those suffering from the devastation.”

SOBO and Surropa will donate all profits from the sale of the Condorito Fuerza Chile t-shirt to the Red Cross in support of relief efforts in Chile.

SOBO was inspired to create a relevant t-shirt that conveys both the emotion and hope of Chile’s tragic situation, and Condorito was a natural fit. Created by Chilean cartoonist René Rios, Condorito is a beloved Latin American cartoon character already featured on limited-edition designs at through SOBO’s license. On the t-shirt, Condorito holds the Chilean flag above the words Fuerza Chile, or “stay strong, Chile,” a phrase often heard in the aftermath of the country’s natural disaster. The shirt is available in men’s and women’s designs and sizes, and retails for $24.95 USD.

Earlier this year, SOBO created a t-shirt to support relief efforts in Haiti featuring the phrase, “Through the tears, we are with you,” a line from a popular Haitian song. The shirt is also available for men and women on, and all profits are being donated to “Our ‘Through the tears we are with you’ was in response to Haiti’s unimaginable tragedy, and our desire and responsibility to help,” said Schwartz.

About is the ultimate online shopping destination for fashion apparel and merchandise from top Latin American brands and designers. Surropa offers an assortment of contemporary designs including t-shirts, hoodies, art and trendsetting products inspired by Latin American style and culture. Follow Surropa on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter or check out our blog.

About SOBO Concepts

SOBO Concepts LLC is an apparel and e-commerce company based in Miami, FL. SOBO Concepts “creates the style” for brands by designing custom apparel and merchandise for sale or promotional use. With a full range of services from product design and development to ecommerce solutions including sourcing, warehousing, distribution and customer service, SOBO Concepts makes it easy for companies to extend their brand and revenue potential.


Media contact: Kristin Seigworth,, 888-513-6245, c: 920-602-2307

Help Chile – A letter from Bio-Bio


My name is Francisco, I´m a filmmaker originally from Chile. I came to my beautiful country to spend a valuable time with my family at my lovely region in Chile. The same Region that now is devastated due the past quake, and the chaos is everywhere. We as Chileans, are use to have quakes, we are strong people, and we will re build our Nation again and this time, stronger than never. However, we need your help this time for the little ones. That´s why, I kindly ask you, to help Chile, whether you are doing it through an organization or not.

Saturday's Chile earthquake was so powerful that it likely shifted an Earth axis and shortened the length of a day, NASA announced Monday.

Saturday’s Chile earthquake was so powerful that it likely shifted an Earth axis and shortened the length of a day, NASA announced Monday.

I´m in Region del Bio-Bio right now, and my people is suffering. Specially the kids at our Child Care Facility, named CONIN CHILLAN. ( <> )

We need lots of diapers, any kind of diapers, as much as you can. They don´t have a steady service or electricity or water, they have some tough areas and slums surrounding the child care facility, and they are running out of diapers for the kids.

You can ship that from the US, or everywhere, labeling your package for Chilean Customs as:

Chile Earthquake


José María Caro 565.
Pobl. Vicente Pérez Rosales
Tel: (+56-42) 423220
ZIP: 3780000

If you need some assistance in order of how to proceed, please don´t hesitate to contact me.

Francisco Campos-Lopez

Phone: +56 42 274559
Mobile: +56 9 7 423 0398

Photo source: National Geographic