EBay (EBAY) has moved ahead with its first e-commerce effort in Latin America’s biggest economy by appealing to Brazil’s fashionistas. But in doing so, it might end up competing against its partner MercadoLibre, Latin America’s top e-tailer.
Local eBay execs told the Brazilian press in August that they would launch a Portuguese-language and Portuguese-currency version of eBay’s Moda fashion app, which lets mobile shoppers buy clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, watches and health and beauty items.
That fashion app indeed has been launched and is now being used by Brazilian consumers, eBay spokeswoman Johnna Hoff told IBD.
“All of the (fashion) inventory is imports from eBay sites around the world, in cases where sellers have noted they will ship to Brazil,” Hoff said.
Android Version Later This Year
The app is now available to local iPhone and iPad users in Apple’s Brazil App Store. An Android version is slated to be available in Brazil later this year.
Hoff says eBay is running flash sales within the app — showcasing limited-time offers on new inventory from select sellers worldwide.
EBay says more new apps and a Portuguese-language version of eBay’s main website would be rolled out in the next 12 months — assuming its Moda app trial fares well.
Hoff wouldn’t say when eBay might launch that full Portuguese-language site for Brazil. She points out that eBay has said previously that it’s focusing on an “imports-first” strategy in emerging markets such as Brazil, with an emphasis on sales via mobile devices.
She says eBay followed this same blueprint in Russia, where it did end up launching an eBay.com website in Russian.
“You can imagine that this same playbook will be coming for eBay Brazil, but we’re starting (first) with a mobile launch focusing on fashion,” she said.
Hoff explains that eBay still doesn’t have a domestic business in Brazil yet that can supply products to a full-blown eBay website in Brazil. So for now, the items bought by Brazilians using the Moda app will only consist of fashion products that originate from outside Brazil.
Andre Baggio, a JPMorgan analyst in Sao Paulo, Brazil, says he hasn’t seen “much follow-on” since eBay announced its Brazil push in local newspapers in August.
“I go to eBay.com, click on it and it takes me to the U.S. English eBay website,” Baggio said.
Hoff says Brazilians can and do still use the main eBay.com website, but they have to deal with English and make purchases in U.S. dollars.
EBay Goes Ahead With Brazil Strategy; Launches App . 2013, October 10, By Doug Tsuruoka. Retrieved from http://news.investors.com/technology/101013-674605-ebay-offers-flash-sales-with-brazilian-app.htm#ixzz2hRiWUggv.