Business

E-commerce: Meet the Amazon of the Amazon rainforest

With stores closed due to the pandemic, retailer Bemol successfully implanted an e-commerce model to cater to remote Amazon villages

amazon e-commerce
Ferry along the Paraná Madeirinha River transporting Bemol containers from Manaus to Autazes. Photo: Courtesy of Bemol

Doing business in Brazil involves truly continent-sized challenges, implanting a model that is successful from the high-flying Southeast to rural villages in the Center-West, and everywhere in between. Indeed, when it comes to e-commerce, the word “Amazon” conjures up an entirely different meaning in the farthest-flung regions of northern Brazil, the most sparsely populated area in Latin America’s biggest economy.

Despite taking its name from the imperious river that snakes across northern Brazil from east to west, the U.S. tech giant has almost zero presence in the Amazon basin. Instead, the vanguard of e-commerce in Brazil’s North is led by...

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