Chances are, you’ve noticed an uptick in sample requests for Colombian respondents over the past few months which prompted us to launch an online market research panel in Colombia. Our expertise in multicultural market research makes us uniquely qualified to meet this need and brands are entrusting us to source high-quality sample in the area. But, have you wondered why brands are investing so heavily in trying to understand Colombian consumers better? We had a few thoughts but did a little more digging to get the facts. Here’s what we found:

1. Internet access is more widespread.

With a population of almost 50 million and nearly 29 million people online, almost 60% of Colombians are connected to the internet. Broadband is extensively available from many internet providers. In fact, Colombia is the third largest Latin American country in relation to broadband subscriptions, behind only Argentina and Brazil. There are nearly 4 million broadband subscriptions in Colombia and over 2 million mobile subscriptions.

However, just because a country has internet access, doesn’t mean that market research is being purchased in that country. However, internet access has led to a thriving e-commerce market, and our number two reason why Colombia has seen a surge in market research investment.

2. E-commerce is a key contributor to the economy.

Colombia is Latin America’s fifth largest e-commerce economy, and the only Latin American country with a Ministry of E-Commerce, making it clear that building the e-commerce ecosystem is a priority for the government. The Colombian e-commerce economy erupted between 2015 to 2016, increasing by 64% in one year. Growth was still strong in 2017 at 22%. In 2017, there were roughly 12 million online shoppers who made more than 87 million online purchases. According to Statista, e-commerce generated almost US$ 4.8 billion in purchases in 2017. According to the Colombian Chamber of Electronic Commerce, e-commerce comprised 5.61% of the country’s GDP in 2017.

Colombian consumers have embraced e-commerce. That, coupled with the support and financial backing of the Colombian government, has created a thriving e-commerce ecosystem that has sent a strong signal to companies looking to expand outside of the U.S. Brands want to know what Colombian consumers are thinking, and most importantly, what drives their online purchase behavior. The best way to do that is by gathering their opinions via online panels.

3. Smartphones make shopping online easy.

Internet access, primarily through smartphones, and an increase in online services, like banking and online payments, are the top drivers of growth in e-commerce for Colombia, particularly in the B2C segment. The most significant areas in the Colombian e-commerce market are tourism, fashion, and technology. Most Colombians use computers and laptops to complete online purchases, but mobile e-commerce is thriving with 14% of people using their phone to make online purchases.

With smartphones becoming ubiquitous in Colombia, companies are looking to meet consumers where they are, be it at point of sale when purchasing smartphones or somewhere else along the customer purchase journey. Their core strategy is centered around earning their place in the hearts and minds of the Colombian consumer. Colombia, like every other Latin American country, has a unique identity and culture. Savvy brands respect that and are going the extra mile required to understand the cultural nuances within this demographic so that their products and services are more relevant to the Colombian consumer.

With the mass adoption of the internet, a booming e-commerce ecosystem, and an increasingly mobile consumer, Colombia is becoming a hot spot for online market research. If you or your clients are looking to enter that market, be sure to understand how to choose the right Colombian panel and what to look for by reading our recent blog on Colombian respondents, 3 Critical Facts About Online Market Research Respondents in Colombia.