Mexico: your guide to e-commerce’s best-kept secret

Isabel Prieto Pérez
Isabel Prieto Pérez
7 min read
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It may be home to the famous Day of the Dead festival, but in Mexico, e-commerce is very much alive and kicking. In fact, the country has the second-largest e-commerce market in Latin America, behind Brazil– and it’s forecast to keep growing.

With opportunities so plentiful, all you need is an international shipping partner and some local market insights, and you’ll be ready to cash in! Read on as we explore how to export to Mexico, including the consumer trends and customs regulations you should know.

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3.18% GDP growth in 2023

Mexico’s economy continues to impress. GDP growth is forecast to continue at 1.5-2% through to 2027.(2)

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The world’s 14th largest economy(3)

And the second largest in Latin America after Brazil.

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101 million Internet users

Mexico is the 9th largest digital population in the world.(4) Representing an internet penetration of 78.6% from a total population of 126 million.(5)

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13% e-commerce growth

Mexico’s e-commerce sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate (CAGR 2023-2028) of 11.81%.(6)

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USD$864 online revenue per user(7)

Mexico’s e-commerce average revenue per user (ARPU) is USD$864. This is higher than Brazil (USD$434) and higher than the overall ARPU for Latin America (USD$502).(8)

Doing business in Mexico: Consumer trends

Where do Mexican consumers buy online?

Most popular online stores in Mexico, as of September 20239

(% of respondents who had purchased from that store in the previous 12 months; multiple answers allowed)

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What do Mexican consumers buy online?

Most popular categories for online purchases in Mexico, as of September 202310

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Mexico’s Biggest import Partners11

Perhaps unsurprisingly given its borders, Mexico’s biggest trade partner by far is the US, accounting for 54% of all imports to Mexico. 

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Preferred payment methods for online purchases

Approximately one-third of all online transactions made in Mexico in 2022 were settled using credit or charge cards. E-wallets and debit cards were the next most popular methods, accounting for 27% and 22% of transactions, respectively.12

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Major shopping events and holidays in Mexico 

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Some of the major shopping events and holidays in Mexico include: 

  • El Buen Fin: A four-day shopping event that takes place every November and is similar to Black Friday. 
  • Dia de los Muertos: A two-day holiday that takes place on November 1st and 2nd to honor the dead. 
  • Navidad: Christmas is celebrated on December 25th and is a time for gift-giving and family gatherings. 
  • Dia de los Reyes Magos: A holiday that takes place on January 6th to celebrate the arrival of the Three Wise Men. 
  • Dia del Niño: A holiday that takes place on April 30th to celebrate children. 

Mexico’s customs and import regulations

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The most common products with paperwork or permits required are food, electronics, cosmetics, food supplements, toys, medicines and medical devices, for personal effects the CNEE for its acronym in Spanish (Comisión Nacional del Espacio Exterior) has to prove with a copy of the stamped passport and airplane ticket with a maximum of 6 months from the enter to the country. If the paperwork is not delivered by the consignor the shipment is abandoned after 60 days from the arrival and the recovery is managed between the customer and the government. 

Clients most consider the import taxes and duties on many products, which can add to the cost of shipping. Shippers need to factor in these costs when pricing their products and managing their logistics. 

For the compliance on the local regulations shippers need to ensure that their products comply with these regulations to avoid delays, fines, or capture of the shipment. 

Over a certain amount and special goods need formal customs clearance and need to have cooperation with a customs agent (DHL can help customers with that, as long as they have all the asked documents) to import in accordance with the formal entry. 

  • De minimis for Mexico is up to US$50
  • All shipments above this amount must be taxed. 
  • Shipments over USD$10,000 must be declared through a Value declaration form, otherwise, it could be confiscated by Mexican customs authorities.  
  • Maximum weight limitations are 50 kgs per shipment. 


Regulated items and packaging requirements 

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Mexico like many nations, strictly monitors packaging materials coming into the country. This is done to protect agriculture industries from insects and pests.  

Wooden packaging and pallets

  • All raw wood used in packaging, including pallets, must comply to the ISPM15 standard (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures #15) 
  • To demonstrate compliance, all raw materials need to show the ‘debug’ symbol, 2-letter country code and the unique number of the manufacturer. 
  • These standards do not apply to plywood, particle board or plastic 
  • Packing materials (boxes, pallets, etc.) must be accompanied by an Origin Certification of Fumigation. 

Ensure all wood packaging material entering Mexico is pest-free, de-barked, heat-treated or fumigated, and marked with an ISPM 15 logo certifying that it has been appropriately treated. Shipments containing noncompliant wood packaging material will not be allowed to enter Mexico. 

Exporting to Mexico: Official websites and useful links

DHL’s expert tips for exporting to Mexico

  • Check the regulations to export about your product. 
  • Check the internationals agreements existing in Mexico, for example: United States- México- Canada free trade agreement (T-MEC). 
  • Partner with a reliable logistics provider that has expertise in navigating the complex rules and regulations of the Mexican customs and import/export processes. It is important for international businesses to work with a logistics provider that has experience and expertise in navigating these processes to ensure that their shipments are cleared quickly and efficiently. 
  • Utilize one of the 730 DHL Service Points across Mexico, giving your customers full flexibility with their deliveries. 

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