Earlier today Dafiti, Brazil’s leading fashion, accessory, and beauty e-tailer, announced that it had secured a big investment from an unlikely source: $70 million from Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, a Canadian-based pension fund. Though still relatively unknown outside its country of origin, to Brazilians, almost three-year-old Dafiti is now a household name with a reported 30 percent market share. Offering more than 770 local and global fashion brand partners, ranging from Nike and Puma to Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger, Dafiti is modeled after Zappos in many ways, providing free shipping and a generous 30-day return period. Since the launch of higher-end Dafiti Premium in 2012, our Head of Research Maureen Mullen believes the now $255 million-backed retail site has its sights on becoming “the Net-a-Porter of South America.” Rapid expansion into Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico only underlines the retailer’s regional–and ultimately global–ambitions.

 

We recently released our first Digital IQ Index: Brazil Prestige, and among the 109 non-hotel brands included in the research, a third now offer customized storefronts through Dafiti, and two local brands (Capodarte and Zeferino) offer a direct handoff from their brand sites to Dafiti.com. See the graph below for a more complete breakdown of brands’ presence on the retail site:

BrandPresenceonDafiti-01

What’s also impressive about Dafiti is that in addition to the hundreds of brands it stocks, its efficient, streamlined policies, and the website itself, which is quite advanced, feature-wise, its digital marketing has also been smartly executed. In 2012, Dafiti registered the highest number of display advertising impressions in Brazil, resulting in a 150+ percent increase in unique visitors last year–three times that of Walmart. Of the 109 brands reviewed in our research, we discovered that Dafiti was actively purchasing against search terms for 41 of them on Google and 12 on YouTube. Of the 17 global brands available on Dafiti, none provide native e-commerce in Brazil, and only three–Burberry, Michael Kors, and Jimmy Choo–offer shipping to a Brazilian address. Of the 15 local brands on Dafiti, just half maintain an e-commerce operation. What this tells us is that Dafiti is the primary online channel for a good number of global brands (though for most the merchandise is still limited to fragrances, cosmetics, and accessories), and a supplemental point of distribution for local brands.

 

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