Telhanorte leverages physical stores to increase revenue using the omnichannel model
Disclaimer: This material was developed from the content presented by the mentioned brand(s) during VTEX DAY 2022.
Telhanorte, founded in São Paulo in 1976, is one of the country’s leading building material retailers, selling flooring, coatings, paints, doors, windows, and kitchen and bathroom items, among other things. It was acquired by the French group Saint-Gobain in 2000 and now integrates Saint-Gobain Distribuição Brasil, along with Tumelero.
In 2020, the company, which has 76 stores, 4,000 employees, and four distribution centers located in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná, and Rio Grande do Sul, ended the year with a revenue of BRL 2 billion.
Always attentive to the challenges and new consumption habits, Telhanorte, a VTEX customer since 2014, not only expanded its service and sales channels but also integrated its ecommerce operation with the physical stores, offering a new shopping experience to customers, which increased the effectiveness of the company’s omnichannel strategy.
The ability to execute this strategy is thanks to Amazon Web Services for a cloud-based ecommerce structure. With AWS, retailers tap flexible, elastic cloud services that easily scale up or down depending on demand, for instance.
This strategy has already shown excellent results. Even though the stores were shut during the pandemic, the brand kept about 80% of its sales. After the pandemic restrictions were lifted and brick-and-mortar stores were reopened, the omnichannel strategy still represents a significant amount of the brand’s sales.
During the most severely restricted months of the pandemic in 2021, Telhanorte sought solutions to continue selling even though the stores were closed. For that purpose, the company bet on WhatsApp as a convenient and practical channel for its customers.
“For consumers of building and remodeling materials, assistance and advice from sales associates are crucial, since purchasing products is more complex and full of aspects that can impact the progress of the construction. At Telhanorte, more than 90% of sales go through a salesperson, whether in-person service, in physical stores, or assisted sales through digital channels, such as WhatsApp.”Pablo Satyro, CMO at Telhanorte
Today, the brand assists about 40,000 customers per month via WhatsApp. That’s because more than 50% of the company’s sales associates are already qualified to use the tool, making the operations more efficient.
The brand has also structured its WhatsApp customer service and sales processes to leverage sales associates’ idle moments during the day, since the peak of the in-person service is at noon and in the evening after 6 pm.
The omnichannel experience in megastores
Telhanorte’s omnichannel strategy is also helping them solve another critical aspect. The size of the company’s brick-and-mortar stores ranges from 2,000 to 8,000 square meters, and with the omni-digital solutions, neither salesperson nor customers need to make long trips to check the availability of products, thus making the customer service and the customer journey more convenient.
That’s because if the product the customer wants is not available in that store, the sales associate can check, through a mobile device, the inventory available in the ecommerce system and other VTEX stores, allowing the customer to complete the purchase without having to go to another store.
Telhanorte’s omni strategy also brings convenience and agility to the sales team. Sales associates can get orders and complete purchases directly on the platform – without having to move around or disrupt the customer experience – and send the cart to the customer via WhatsApp so they can complete the purchase.
Connecting ecommerce and physical stores generates excellent results
A remarkable feature of Telhanorte’s omnichannel strategy is the synergy between the ecommerce operation and the physical stores. This relationship has proven to be a two-way street, with the constant exchange of lessons and opportunities.
A great example of this synergy is the centralization of information about the behavior of ecommerce users, which serves as input for strategic actions that encourage the customer to visit the physical stores.
For instance, a customer who browses a product page but does not complete the purchase and abandons the cart may get moved by a discount coupon to buy that same product at a physical store.
“To continue to grow our omnichannel strategy, we will further leverage our digital ecosystem, using the learnings and opportunities we got from both ecommerce and physical stores. Ultimately integrating physical and digital channels’ inventories and moving forward with the VTEX’s infinite shelf system are the next steps in this process.”Pablo Satyro, CMO at Telhanorte.