E-commerce in Guatemala is experiencing significant growth, presenting both opportunities and challenges for local entrepreneurs and consumers. As technology advances and Internet penetration increases, e-commerce has become an essential part of the country’s digital economy.

Growth and Challenges of E-commerce in Guatemala

In 2024, the e-commerce market in Guatemala is projected to reach revenues of $381 million, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7% until 2028, when revenues are expected to hit $551.8 million. This growth is driven by the increasing adoption of mobile devices and Internet access, making online shopping more accessible to a larger portion of the population (ECDB, 2024).

However, despite the promising growth, e-commerce in Guatemala faces several challenges. Additionally, foreign online stores represent 73% of the total e-commerce sales volume in the country, highlighting intense competition and the need for local businesses to strengthen their online presence (PCMI, 2024).

The most commonly used payment method in Guatemalan e-commerce is internationally-enabled credit cards, representing 68% of the payment volume. This is followed by debit cards at 16%, bank transfers at 11%, and digital wallets at 3%. However, more than 54% of consumers still prefer to pay cash on delivery, indicating a continued trust in traditional payment methods (PCMI, 2024).

62% of the e-commerce volume in Guatemala comes from purchases made through mobile devices, while 38% comes from desktop purchases. This shows a strong trend towards the use of smartphones for transactions, aligning with the globalization of mobile technology (PCMI, 2024).

Opportunities for E-commerce Growth in Guatemala

As more Guatemalans adopt e-commerce, local businesses have a great opportunity to expand their online operations. Investing in improving user experience, ensuring secure and diversified payment methods, and optimizing websites for mobile devices are key strategies to take advantage of this expanding market.

The top-selling categories online in Guatemala include food and beverages, cosmetics and personal care products, medicines and health products, non-sports clothing, and telephony and phone accessories. These categories reflect the needs and preferences of local consumers, who seek convenience and variety in their purchases (PCMI, 2024).

Time savings is the primary motivator for online shopping, cited by 61% of shoppers. Therefore, a fast and efficient purchase process can increase customer satisfaction and encourage repeat purchases (PCMI, 2024).

E-commerce in Guatemala is on an upward trajectory, offering significant opportunities for local businesses and challenges that need to be addressed. With an appropriate strategy that includes improving online security, optimizing for mobile devices, and increasing online visibility, Guatemalan businesses can effectively compete in this dynamic digital market and contribute to the country’s economic growth.

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ECDB. (2024). eCommerce Market Guatemala – Data & Trends. Retrieved from https://ecommercedb.com.

PCMI. (2024). Exploring E-commerce Dynamics in Guatemala. Retrieved from https://paymentscmi.com.