Digital Insider: Cristian Serrano on post-pandemic ecommerce
The recent growth of ecommerce has also led to the birth of a new, better informed type of consumer. These shoppers have a completely different behavior and will force retailers and brands to cater to them in a different way if they want to continue to grow post-pandemic ecommerce sales. This type of consumer might also hold the key on what the future of ecommerce will look like once people start going out to physical stores in the pre-pandemic way.
Ready to know more on the topic? Welcome to this episode of Digital Insider, a podcast series about the digitalization of retail, featuring Cristian Serrano, Ecommerce General Manager of the Americas Region at Tekmovil.
Meet the guest
After studying Marketing and Publicity, Cristian found his way into ecommerce, where he spent three years growing the online operations of sports retail giants such as Grupo Martí and Under Armour, before moving to Tekmovil and helping set up the ecommerce presence of the company. The group, which manages brands from Xiaomi to Bang and Olufsen, quickly grew to 16 different ecommerce websites around the nine countries in which it operates.
Tekmovil was originally born as a B2B company that was focused on distributing phones directly to telecom companies, since that was the area of expertise of its founders. Cristian, with his extensive experience, supervised the digital transformation into a company that now has a robust B2C operation, with online sales leading the expansion.
The professional consumer
Serrano highlighted that the professionalization of consumers means that ecommerce retailers will have to offer even more elements to differentiate themselves, since buyers know exactly what type of products they’re looking for, sometimes down to the make and model. These unique and tailored online shopping experiences can include things such as curbside pickup, integration with social media and loyalty programs, just to name a few.
This new consumer behavior will bring clear advantages to certain product categories, while making it more difficult for retailers in other verticals to make space for themselves in a market full of competition.
“Now it’s not just about the product per se, but extras like delivery time, customer service and guarantee. That’s what we’re already seeing happening. We’re living in uncertain times and we don’t know how the future’s gonna change, but we know that verticals like grocery will suffer the biggest changes.”Cristian Serrano, Ecommerce General Manager of the Americas Region at Tekmovil
The role of brick-and-mortar in post-pandemic ecommerce
It’s hard to predict what will happen with ecommerce adoption once people are finally able to safely gather in public places around the world, but Cristian thinks the relationship between consumers and brick-and-mortar stores might change radically.
This new arrangement would also help companies maximize their stock, since there would be no need to have some units idle in a store, and physical local stores would only get enough products to help customers experience them in person — unfortunately, buying online is not quite as immersive yet.
“Social distancing is something that’s going to stay forever, and retail is gonna move into more of a showroom experience, with fewer products available and more space between shelves so it’s not so crowded. It’ll be more about experiences, the way it is now with flagship stores.”Cristian Serrano, Ecommerce General Manager of the Americas Region at Tekmovil
Listen to the episode, where Cristian also went into detail about his company’s digital transformation and what it took to align expectations with its directors, as well as the process of finding the right partners and what those partnerships look like.