MEXICO CITY, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc likely doubled its sales to become the biggest internet retailer in Mexico this year, helping to grow the country's nascent e-commerce market by a third, according to a report by market research firm Euromonitor International.
The world's largest online retailer will generate $502.2 million in Mexico sales this year compared with $243.9 million last year, the Euromonitor report said. Its findings were based on trade surveys, market studies and data research.
Online sales still account for slightly over 3 percent of all retail sales in Mexico, where shoppers fear credit card fraud and are often paid in cash. Internet shopping represents nearly 12 percent of all retail sales in the United States.
Argentina's MercadoLibre Inc registered an increase of nearly 90 percent from 2016, Euromonitor said, but was still seen slipping to second place with some $489.2 million in sales. MercadoLibre did not comment on the Euromonitor figures but said its Mexican sales rose 82 percent in the third quarter.
In third place was Wal-Mart de Mexico with $258.9 million in projected online sales, or growth of about a third. Wal-Mart de Mexico did not respond to a request for comment.
Amazon, which formally launched in Mexico two years ago, made a push to expand its customer base in October by introducing a cash payments system. The U.S. company declined to comment on the Euromonitor data, saying it does not release sales figures.
Euromonitor excluded consumer-to-consumer sales sites, such as eBay, in its analysis.
The firm forecast the Mexican online market would be worth $7.1 billion next year, rising to $14 billion by 2022. (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Dave Graham and Andrew Hay)