Argentina’s e-commerce giant Mercado Libre has announced an investment of US$275 million in Mexico to further bolster its logistics, shipping, and marketing operations.
The first US$100 million will be for two distribution centers in Cuautitlán Izcalli and Tepotzotlán. The distribution centers alone can create as many as 3,000 jobs in Mexico.
The remaining US$175 million will be invested into improving the service experience, such as the loyalty program and the provision of free shipping and returns.
“Mexico is one of the countries with the biggest e-commerce industry growth of the region,” Marcos Galperin, Mercado Libre’s chief executive and founder, said at a press conference. “We want to accelerate the pace of this advance.”
Mercado Libre has been locked in a compettitve race with US behemoth Amazon, enjoying twice as much website traffic in Mexico as its American rival last year, according to digital measurement company comScore.
Amazon, made its foray into Mexico in 2015, yet is quickly increasing its pick-up points, posing a greater threat to thousands of brick-and-mortar businesses across the country.
For Mercado Libre, Mexico is the third largest market after Brazil and Argentina. The company also has presence in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
As of now, online retailers control a small piece of (2.5 % to be precise) of Mexico’s retailing industry, but analysts expect e-commerce sales to grow several fold, as the growing number of smartphone buyers and internet users in the country is signalling a new era for e-commerce platforms.