A Latin America online marketplace operator recruits Chinese sellers

May 27, 2015 04:26 PM

Linio opened its first China office this year as it seeks to recruit Chinese companies to sell on the online marketplaces it operates in eight Latin American countries. So far, 100 Chinese companies have applied to sell on the Linio e-commerce sites and 20 have been approved, Linio China account manager Nick Duan tells Internet Retailer.

Linio operates web marketplaces in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Panama and Ecuador. Like Lazada, which operates online shopping portals in Southeast Asia, Linio is a subsidiary of German e-commerce group Rocket Internet SE, whose strategy is to replicate e-commerce business models from developed countries in emerging markets.

Launched in 2012, Linio operates its own warehouses and employees more than 2,000 workers in Latin America. Linio says its websites attract 30 million visits per month. The company has not disclosed the value of merchandise sold on its e-marketplaces, but says revenue is doubling each year.

Linio now has 15 employees in its China office in Shenzhen. A big part of their job is educating Chinese companies about the opportunities in Latin America, Duan says.

“Many people think South America is an underdeveloped area,” he says. “Actually, South American consumers are younger and they have more consuming power than Chinese consumers. The per capita GDP of South America is about 1.8 times higher than that of China. Besides, consumers in South America are unlike Chinese consumers, who are used to keeping a higher portion of their income in savings.”

He says Linio is seeking Chinese companies with experience selling abroad and whose average online purchase is at least $40. That’s because it costs about $20 to ship a parcel from China to Linio customers in Latin America via DHL, Duan says. Delivery generally takes about one week. “Postal service is also available, but it could take several weeks for delivery,” Duan says.

Linio collects a commission from the merchant. Duan would not disclose its rate, other than to say it is comparable to that of AliExpress, the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. online e-commerce site. AliExpress charges sellers a 5% commission.




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