The introduction of unified commerce has birthed the chance to offer customers a richer and more gratifying end-to-end experience, from browsing to paying to receiving their purchase. This satisfaction is a big opportunity, but it also represents an important challenge for merchants, distributors, and delivery companies, who need to work together to guarantee the best possible experience.
Last September, during VTEX Connect LATAM, representatives from Amazon Mexico, DHL, and the Mexican Association of Online Sales (AMVO) gathered to discuss the opportunities this new commercial reality brings. Here’s what we learned.
Customers are changing too
Something the pandemic did was create the right conditions to modify how customers engaged with online stores. Claudia Alva, Marketplace Head LATAM at Amazon, explains the behavioral changes identified by the global leader.
“Lockdown forced everyone to have different buying abilities: those who didn’t use to buy online started doing it, and those who did start doing it more frequently and adding new categories to their regular purchases”Claudia Alva, Marketplace Head LATAM at Amazon
Amazon’s mindset, Alva said, is supported not by what has changed recently but by two things that the company sure won’t change any time soon: buyers want their purchase as fast as possible, and they want fair prices.
Logistics is at the center of both the delivery time and the product’s price.
“You can be more competitive if you have better logistics because you can move your margins within the market’s expectations depending on your logistics’ cost. If your competition offers one-day delivery, you have to look into it while being efficient”Nabil Malouli, SVP of Global Ecommerce at DHL
Malouli points out that the pandemic represented a 12-month peak in the volume of sent packages worldwide, which drove logistics companies to grow their capacity in order to meet this demand.
“In times like these, where you need to invest in increasing your capacity and shortening delivery times, most of what we’ve seen has gone into automation and network extension, as well as in giving customers more flexibility with tools such as pick-up, which are good both financially and for buyers’ convenience”Nabil Malouli, SVP of Global Ecommerce at DHL.
Convenience is king
The needs of a buyer who lives in a big metropolitan city and the needs of one who lives in a small town are not the same. That’s why a growing number of transnational enterprises are starting to develop city strategies instead of national ones, according to Malouli.
“They want to be dominant in Tokyo, New York, or Mexico City. Why? Because once you do this, you can focus on designing solutions for places where you can have a balance between responding to what customers expect without burning your rentability down”Nabil Malouli, SVP of Global Ecommerce at DHL
This convenience also depends on the category, warns Alva, since pharma and furniture purchases don’t have the same needs. Amazon tries to identify these needs by selecting the most urgent products and offering them through “fulfillment by Amazon”.
“We take into account consumer’s data. Not only from people who purchase but also from people who visit detail pages. One of the biggest advantages of ecommerce is being able to measure ‘intention of purchase’, and that’s how we identify the products in which we need to ensure the best buying experience possible”Claudia Alva, Marketplace Head Latam at Amazon
Data gathered by AMVO also suggests that convenience has surpassed price as the number one driver for sales in the Mexican ecommerce market. “The four main reasons why people buy online have to do with convenience, and delivery is a big upseller,” says Pierre-Claude Blaise, AMVO’s CEO.
The way forward
Retailers not only have an obligation to adopt these elements that have already become a part of the usual customer journey, but they also need to keep themselves updated on the latest trends that will become expected soon enough. Alva warns that platforms shouldn’t only focus on acquiring new customers. A seamless return experience and a quick second buy are two of the most important investments that can be made to keep existing customers.
If you’re not sure how to implement these elements into your own business, contact a VTEX specialist today and learn what the right ecommerce platform can do for your company.