Customer Stories

Chedraui’s digital transformation through grocery ecommerce

Lalo Aguilar
Lalo Aguilar November 23, 2021
Chedraui’s digital transformation through grocery ecommerce

The growth of ecommerce in the last decade hasn’t been uniform. While industries such as electronics and books saw a fast adoption, others like fashion and grocery had to deal with some clients’ apprehension. Yet the recent rise in popularity of food delivery services also sparked a change towards grocery ecommerce, with clients increasingly asking for same-day delivery and even one-hour delivery. Afterwards, the COVID-19 pandemic only amplified this retail shift. 

In this context, grocery has become one of the industries where it’s hardest to consolidate a durable digital adoption strategy. Chedraui, one of the biggest grocery retailers in Mexico, has found important lessons in its effort to implement a future-proof strategy for its ecommerce, which you can find below.

Time of opportunity

The challenge for grocery retailers grew even bigger during the last two years, when clients flocked to online channels in order to stay in their homes as much as possible. This increased the number of users buying groceries online, and it also meant an acceleration in the implementation of digital transformation projects for the grocery industry, giving smaller time frames for important internal changes.

Chedraui claims that it has seen a change in the consumer behavior even after some of the restrictions related to COVID-19 have been lifted, with online grocery sales being the new normal. 

“There is more mobility and clients are returning to brick-and-mortar stores, but online adoption keeps climbing and we’re glad to see that some cities’ online purchases represent double digit percentages. This means the client is considering this channel in their journey.” 

Anabel Cruz, Head of Ecommerce and Omnichannel at Chedraui

Santiago Naranjo, President of VTEX Latin America, highlights that the pandemic led to the adoption of ecommerce by an older demographic of the population, one that has purchasing power and demands better user experiences. This has increased the importance of some functionalities such as geolocalization and omnichannel solutions that allow for faster pickup and delivery times.

Putting all your eggs in one channel

Naranjo says that it’s the consumers themselves who have become omnichannel, and that they are not paying much attention to where they are interacting with a company, but how satisfied they are with that particular interaction. 

This new paradigm calls for an online shopping experience based on flexibility, since the same customer may approach a physical store and the online store on different “shopping missions”, according to Chedraui’s Head of Ecommerce and Omnichannel. So, a grocery retailer’s mission is to enable as many contact points as possible with interested customers.

All of these contact points need to communicate seamlessly, since they work as different sides of the same customer’s experience, and they need to complement each other. This ability is especially challenging in an industry with product rotation as high as grocery. 

The digital transformation also requires that companies that are experts in supply chains and the handling of food and beverage products turn into experts in digital services and customer care. Cruz stressed that her company can make mistakes, but they have to be corrected as soon as possible so the client has the best buying experience.

“The question is how do we change the way we’ve been doing things and how do we rely on the best technology available to do it. In the end, what we need to find is different processes to connect all the mechanisms at our disposal.”

Anabel Cruz, Head of Ecommerce and Omnichannel at Chedraui

This flexibility requires a permanent connection between orders, stock, POS, OMS, payments, etc. In turn, Cruz highlights that achieving this calls for a mix between modifying internal processes and selecting the best technology (including an ecommerce platform) that can help take advantage of all the benefits available in the realm of grocery ecommerce.

Last but not least, the process of perfecting the shopping experience has a strong ally: data. Online shopping makes it easier for companies to tailor the information they send to customers in order to better align with what each of them is buying. As shoppers, we’re nearing a future where all the sales, communication and promos we see from a retailer are perfectly in line with the products that interest us the most. 

Giving clients the royal treatment

The main metric to measure success in this process is customer feedback. Having a clear picture of what the customer is appreciating the most during the shopping journey and what is the main pain point for them can help perfect the end-to-end experience beyond the blueprint. 

Cruz said that, in its attempt to further solidify its position as a leader in grocery sales, Chedraui chose VTEX as a strategic partner thanks to its great knowledge in the sector and a technological solution already anticipating the future of grocery retail.

“VTEX had the expertise and had already solved some of the problems we had identified we needed a solution for as soon as possible. These solutions were tested in other countries and were going to help us accelerate the adoption and incorporation in our business processes. It’s a big change, and everything has to work perfectly.”

Anabel Cruz, Head of Ecommerce and Omnichannel at Chedraui

Last year, grocery retailers in Latin America saw an online participation of around 1%. This year, that figure has jumped to 4% and some retailers are seeing double digit numbers. Even after the pandemic, this looks like the perfect opportunity for online to take over. Maybe people not being able to pick their own avocados stopped being an issue a long time ago.

Keep reading: Related stories
Customer Stories

Superdry cracks the code for a great buying experience

Superdry is a British fashion company that was founded in 2003. Today, it has more than 16 stores…

Lalo Aguilar
Lalo Aguilar
Customer Stories

Click and Collect increases upselling in Axo Chile’s brand Victoria’s Secret

Delivery times are one of the most important deciding factors when buying online. And around 41% of customers…

Lalo Aguilar
Lalo Aguilar
Customer Stories

Nestlé Chile: Mixing B2E ecommerce with live shopping

Nestlé, one of the largest food companies in the world, has for the past few years successfully embraced…

Andreea Pop
Andreea Pop
Customer Stories

AB InBev’s Modelorama is becoming an omnichannel powerhouse

Modelorama, a brand born and bred in Mexico and part of AB InBev’s portfolio, might not be so…

Lalo Aguilar
Lalo Aguilar
Customer Stories

Live Shopping: Samsung’s strategy to take over

Live Shopping has been widely recognized as one of the biggest trends that will drive the future of…

Lalo Aguilar
Lalo Aguilar
Customer Stories

Under Armour: Becoming the one-stop-shop for sports lovers

With the mission of being a human performance company, the sports and apparel brand Under Armour counts on…

Júlia Miozzo
Júlia Miozzo
Customer Stories

Samsung Chile’s B2C ecommerce profit grows 4 times with VTEX Live Shopping

The South Korean consumer electronics company Samsung held its first live shopping session with VTEX. Samsung follows a…

Adriana Marroquin
Adriana Marroquin
Customer Stories

How Le Biscuit grew 619% with VTEX inStore and ecommerce

The retail brand is growing in Brazil by investing in technological transformation, with VTEX solutions driving business on…

Elias Moura
Elias Moura
Customer Stories

Tok&Stok: Improving customers’ online shopping experience

There is a significant difference between buying and shopping and experience is the keyword that tells them apart.…

Gabriela Porto
Gabriela Porto
See More