Visa Acceptance Enhancements Connect AI to Click-and-Mortar™ Shopper

Mercado Libre Leverages AI to Boost Sales by Improving User Experience

As consumers seek out simple, intuitive online shopping experiences, Mercado Libre is seeing its artificial intelligence (AI) efforts to improve the user journey pay off. 

The Latin American eCommerce platform shared in its fourth quarter 2023 financial results, reported Thursday (Feb. 22) that, throughout the fiscal year, the number of items sold rose by 22% year over year. Plus, unique active users grew by a whopping 47%, and gross merchandise volume rose 30%. These increases came as the company improved the digital buying experience in an effort to drive conversion.

“In 2023, we considerably improved the navigation in fashion, apparel and sports, with standardized filters across brand sellers,” Marcos Galperin, the company’s founder and CEO, told analysts on a call. “This enables consumers to find what they need more quickly on the product pages. Users can also see the ‘more like this’ section to find similar items or products that you’ve clicked on, rather than simply going back to the search results. This feature is powered by artificial intelligence.”

He added that AI is also powering additional consumer-facing features such as product review summaries, product information summaries and personalized notifications about items left in carts. The company is also using AI to offer sellers pricing tools and pre-filled responses to common customer questions.

Indeed, if U.S. consumers are any indication, easy-to-use digital platforms can be key to customer acquisition and retention. The PYMNTS Intelligence study “The Online Features Driving Consumers to Shop With Brands, Retailers or Marketplaces,” which drew from a census-balanced survey of more than 3,500 U.S. consumers, found that 40% consider how easy a given online store is to navigate when deciding where to shop. 

“We continue to look at the specific needs of each vertical to improve the user experience because we believe this will drive offline consumption online,” Galperin said.

Notably, around the world, pure-play eCommerce has taken a slight dip in recent years from its pandemic peak.

The recent PYMNTS Intelligence study “2024 Global Digital Shopping Index: The Rise of the Click-and-Mortar™ Shopper and What It Means for Merchants,” commissioned by Visa Acceptance Solutions, which drew from a survey of nearly 14,000 consumers across seven countries, found that 29% of consumers surveyed are remote shoppers, using online channels exclusively. This share is down from 34% in 2020.

Granted, younger consumers continue to disproportionately shop remotely via eCommerce channels. The study found that that share rises to 32% for Generation Z and 31% for millennials. Plus, higher income consumers are more likely to make purchases in this way, with remote shoppers representing 34% of shoppers in this income bracket.

Overall, it seems that Mercado Libre’s strategic focus on enhancing the user journey through AI may be paying off, as evidenced by its strong growth in consumer adoption throughout fiscal 2023.

By prioritizing simplicity and intuitiveness in its online shopping experience, it appears the Latin American eCommerce platform has successfully attracted and retained a growing number of active users, leading to substantial increases in items sold and gross merchandise volume.