SAO PAULO: During 2014 some 10m Brazilian consumers ventured into online shopping for the first time, helping to push the value of ecommerce in the country up to R$ 35.8bn according to a new report.

E-bit, a company specialising in e-commerce information, said that 61.6m people had bought something online at least once in the past and that almost 84% of this total had been active during 2014, including 10.2m making their first-ever online purchase.

Total sales were up 24% and E-bit predicted a further 20% rise during 2015 to R$43bn.

With 103.4m orders placed in 2014 – 17% more than in 2013 – the average order value had also increased to R$347.

"Each year, we notice a greater maturing of the e-commerce sector in Brazil," said Pedro Guasti, E-bit executive director.

"On one hand, the stores are improving the browsing and purchasing experience on their websites, and on the other hand, consumers are trusting more and enjoying this convenience with several advantages offered by online purchase."

Increased access to the internet via smartphones and tablets has also boosted mobile commerce, which now accounts for 9.7% of online sales. E-Bit further noted that during the course of the year tablets had been usurped by smartphones as the favoured channel, falling from 60% of purchases to 44%.

Nor are Brazilians sticking to domestic sites – four in ten Brazilian online shoppers had completed a purchase on an international shopping site during the past year, with Chinese websites proving especially popular.

Overseas purchases totalled R$ 6.6 billion, equivalent to 18% of the total sales registered in Brazilian e-commerce websites.

In terms of the categories being purchased online, fashion and accessories led the way, accounting for 17% of the volume of orders.

Then came cosmetics & perfumery, personal care and health, all on 15%, followed by appliances (12%), telephony and mobile phones (8%), then books, subscriptions and magazines (8%).

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff