#eCommerceAdvice

Exporting to Argentina: Insights for Cross-Border Success

Vivien Christel Vella
Vivien Christel Vella
7 min read
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E-commerce in Argentina is having a moment – a BIG moment. From 2021 to 2022, annual e-commerce revenue in the country increased by a whopping 87%1 – and it’s set to keep growing. In fact, demand is so high that in 2022, one third of Argentine businesses selling online opened or rented a warehouse to support their growth2.

The good news for you? There are plenty of opportunities for cross-border enterprises to do business in Argentina too. All you need is an international shipping partner and you’ll be ready to cash in!

Read on as we explore how to export to Argentina, including the consumer trends and insights that will help your business engage and convert prospects there.

A fast-growing e-commerce market…

In 2023, B2C e-commerce revenue in Argentina is expected to be US$7.29 billion, and is forecast to reach US$8.61 billion in 2024(3).

graphic image tech assets

…driven by a healthy internet penetration rate

20.5% of the country’s 45.8 million inhabitants are e-commerce users(4). In 2022, they bought a whopping 422 million items online!(5)

Latin America’s one to watch

Argentina is Latin America's fourth largest e-commerce market(6). With a young, digitally-native population and a wider middle class than many neighboring countries, its e-commerce forecast looks bright.

Where does Argentina import from the most?

Argentina’s main trade partners, by value of imports (in billion US dollars)(7)

DOING BUSINESS IN ARGENTINA: CONSUMER TRENDS

Where do consumers in Argentina shop online?

Online marketplaces can be a helpful gateway for cross-border businesses wishing to sell to a new country for the first time.

Most downloaded marketplace apps in Argentina in 2022 (in millions)8

What are they buying?

Most popular product categories for online purchases in Argentina, as of Q1 20239

(% of respondents who had purchased from that category in the previous 12 months)

How do Argentine consumers like to pay for their online purchases?

After all, research shows that e-commerce shoppers will abandon their cart if they cannot pay using their preferred payment method(10).

Leading payment methods of online transactions in Argentina in 202211

What do Argentine online shoppers care about?

graphic image of statistics

Value for money

Argentina is currently experiencing high inflation which is inevitably making consumers price sensitive. They’re looking for product quality and good deals. Businesses which prioritize these features in their sales and marketing campaigns will stand out.

Customer reviews

66% of Argentine consumers said customer reviews are “very helpful” when online shopping(12). Display them clearly on your website to build trust with shoppers. Another way to earn trust – especially for cross-border sellers – is to partner with local businesses and influencers there.

Convenience

In a consumer survey, “it’s easy and simple to do” was cited as the main reason for shopping online in Argentina(13). Ensure your business meets these expectations with fast-loading product pages, intuitive navigation, and a powerful search function to help shoppers find what they’re looking for quickly. Consider a “Guest Checkout” function too, so customers don’t have to register an account first.

IRL (In Real Life) experiences

50% of Argentine consumers said the inability to see a product before buying it is the biggest deterrent to online shopping(14). Overcome this obstacle with plenty of high-res product photos, detailed specifications and tutorial videos. You can even integrate augmented/virtual reality experiences too – for example, many online apparel brands are now leveraging virtual “try-on” technology so customers can visualize how an item will look on them.

 Leading shopping holidays in Argentina

Be sure to add these dates to your marketing and sales calendar so your business can prepare and cash in!

Hot Sale, May

One of the biggest shopping events in Latin America, when retailers offer enticing deals. Typically, it lasts for a few days, driving a significant increase in e-commerce sales. The average online discount offered during the period is around 14%15 – be prepared to match or offer a higher discount to win sales!

Amazon Prime Day, July

Argentina joins countless other countries in participating in this two-day sales bonanza. Sellers on the e-commerce marketplace should offer significant discounts to attract bargain hunters.

Children’s Day, August

Celebrated across Latin America, this date is an opportunity for parents to spoil their children with gifts of toys and candy.

Black Friday

Originating in America, Black Friday has now evolved into a global phenomenon. Competition is fierce, so shout about your best deals on all your social media channels.

Navidad, December 25th

December entails a flurry of festive shoppers looking for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Offering express shipping will help your business win some last-minute shoppers, too.

ENTERING THE MARKET

Exporting to Argentina: required documentation

When shipping internationally, there are several pieces of documentation commonly required to clear your goods through customs smoothly and help authorities determine what import taxes and duties are due:

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Bill of Lading
  • Air Waybill
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Export and Import Licenses
  • Export Packing List
  • Insurance Certificate

This dedicated guide goes into detail on each document, including what information you’ll need to complete it.

Prohibited and restricted commodities

Several commodities are not permitted for shipment by DHL under any circumstances, following full consideration by the operational, legal and risk management teams. They include animals, hazardous or combustible materials, and illegal narcotics. The full list can be found here.

Of the products which are permitted, some categories require special attention when importing into Argentina. Examples include:

  • Medicines: these may need specific licenses, documentation, and quality certifications to ensure they are safe and effective. Regulations can pertain to both over-the-counter and prescription medications.
  • Batteries: due to potential hazards, there are often specific import regulations in place. This might relate to their composition, recycling provisions, or labeling.

Useful resources

 

Shipping costs

Unless exempt, all imported commercial goods are subject to customs duties and taxes based on their HS Code tariff classification. Generally speaking, it is the Importer of Record (i.e. either your business or your logistics carrier) who will pay the import duty and tax.

DHL has a dedicated tool that will give you a quote for your shipment to Argentina. This will help you determine what product price and shipping fees you should set to be profitable. Get a quote.

DHL’S expert tips for exporting to Argentina

  • Be clear on shipping costs to your customers from the beginning. Unexpected fees at checkout are a big deterrent and may lead to them abandoning their purchases. If you can afford to absorb the cost of offering free shipping, all the better – it will likely pay off in terms of extra sales generated.
  • Consider shipping your goods as Duties & Taxes Paid (DTP). Whilst the payment of duties and taxes on international shipments is typically the responsibility of the receiver – i.e. your customer – DHL does offer a DTP service to account holders. This means DHL will invoice the shipper (your business) to cover the costs. The benefit of this is the end customer will not receive an unexpected tax bill when their package arrives at customs – which may damage their opinion of your brand.

Thinking of exporting to Argentina?

You’re in the right place! We know that the above guidelines may seem a little overwhelming, but that’s where partnering with DHL will pay off. As international shipping experts, we’ll support you through all customs procedures so that your shipment avoids delays. Sell to the world with DHL!

Start your journey here