Strategy

Time-to-market: The trick up your digital transformation sleeve

Andreea Pop
Andreea Pop December 27, 2021
Time-to-market: The trick up your digital transformation sleeve

It goes without saying that time-to-market (TTM) is incredibly significant for any digital transformation. The shorter it is, the faster brands and retailers can get that sought-after competitive advantage by migrating to digital. 

VTEX is a pro at TTM, with its continuous product innovation leading to a time-to-market of 109 days, on average. Our customers’ 2,500 active online stores arch across many operating locations, verticals and business models and, while TTM can vary according to complexity, we’ve had record implementations of just five days.    

The jury is still out on whether a replatforming or a digital transformation project is more complex, with each task having its specific challenges. But since we recently covered the fastest ecommerce site migrations, we thought it’d be integral to show the other side of the coin and highlight some amazing instances of fast time-to-market when an ecommerce channel is set up from scratch.  

The case of B2C/DTC digital channels

The lifestyle industry

Recently, you have probably seen brands from the so-called lifestyle industry pop up digitally like mushrooms after rain. That is because these variety store chains, often equipped to sell you everything you need around the house, gained a huge momentum in 2020 and thus took notice of market opportunities like ecommerce.   

At the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Miniso Mexico was forced to massively accelerate its digital transformation plans with VTEX after all its physical stores had to shut down. Instead of the initially projected five months — quite a good TTM, nonetheless — the retailer went live with its ecommerce channel in five weeks. It did so through an MVP mindset that did not compromise on operational efficiency: all 200 brick-and-mortar stores were integrated as fulfillment centers from the get-go. 

The electronics industry

The consumer electronics sector is slowly but surely disentangling itself from its dependence on wholesale distributors and retailers, instead joining in on the DTC fun. 

One example of this is Acer Brazil, which has been powered by VTEX since 2019 when a record 48-day implementation period sealed the deal. Ever since, the global brand has been experiencing great YoY growth rates in the region, heavily sustained by ecommerce sales. Just in 2020, the company grew by 18% and 2021 is expected to surpass that figure.   

Also, there’s the case of Logitech Argentina, who after a three-month implementation went live on VTEX Commerce Platform in September 2019. Unbeknownst to the brand, the online store would come in handy when 2020 came around, setting up a robust foundation for future growth. Indeed, the consumer electronics manufacturer saw a 2000% increase in sales revenue when comparing the first four months of 2021 with 2020. 

The automotive industry

One can say that the automotive industry is the most peculiar industry to be digitalized — yet that does not mean it is impossible. As many other industries that made the switch to digital when circumstances required it, the automotive industry decided to give it a go in 2020 and VTEX was happy to assist.  

Nissan Brazil, for example, took the bull by the horns with a direct-to-consumer store that offers a 100% digital shopping journey. The website, which also allows shoppers to pay in full or obtain credit options after background checks are run, went live with VTEX after just two months

Likewise, other digital commerce projects across Latin America were finalized at an astonishing speed. For example, Mazda Colombia created a unique pre-sale strategy and built an ecommerce environment where cars could be reserved in exchange for a fee and then bought inside dealerships. The entire technological preparation for this campaign took merely 30 days and after one month live, 362 car reservations were processed. 

Additionally, BMW Colombia’s ecommerce site went live with VTEX in two months. It benefits from model configuration features, 360-degree images and reservation options to be completed with the help of a sales agent. Last but not least, this laid the groundwork for two more sites under the Autogermana name, namely MINI Cooper and BMW Motorrad. 

The grocery industry

Grocery is one of the last industries to fall to the might of digital commerce, despite  companies and customers traditionally opposing the switch. But due to COVID-19’s impact on the grocery sector, we’re now starting to see numerous digital transformations.

For instance, Calimax is a well-known grocery chain from Mexico that had struggled for almost two years to start a digital commerce channel until VTEX came in. We offered ourselves to launch the long-awaited site in just four weeks, a promise we stayed true to. The resulting channel could handle complex fulfillment scenarios, including picking and packing from the stores, ship-from-store and scheduled deliveries, great capabilities to have during the pandemic. 

The case of B2B digital channels

The CPG industry

The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is another tough nut to crack from the digital perspective, as its many sales channels are often so complex that a digital proposition seems daunting. 

Yet VTEX delivered Unilever Spain’s B2B digital marketplace in just two months. The marketplace, which connects retailers with distributors across Spain, aims to add convenience and efficiency to the incredibly complex supply chain of the CPG giant.  

In a different region altogether but adhering to the same rules lies Mondelēz LATAM, which is undergoing a similar transformation with a digital B2B2B operation. The company is hard at work launching mobile-exclusive websites, enabling convenience stores to digitally order everything they need from Mondelēz in several countries. One location is Peru, where the store only took ten weeks to be up and running. 

The case of marketplaces

Shopping malls

Still a novelty, digital shopping malls grew in popularity during the pandemic when shops closed their premises for an indefinite period of time. In a nutshell, these are online marketplaces belonging to physical malls that host the catalogs of their tenants, with the value proposition of helping out everyone: the mall itself, the brands and retailers and the customers.  

The first online shopping mall in Romania, Veranda Mall, went live in the midst of the health crisis in just 2.5 months with six brands fully-integrated. The one-stop-shop benefitted from multi-seller carts, loyalty programs and discount codes across the full catalog, bringing convenience and safety into the lives of shoppers.

Similarly, brMalls, the largest Brazilian shopping mall chain, changed the game with a headless marketplace app where shoppers can browse the catalogs of multiple brands that exist in a specific mall, place orders, pay and opt for home delivery. It also went live after just three months of implementation. 

Last but not least, the largest Chilean shopping mall, MarinaMall, integrated its stores with VTEX marketplace capabilities and did so in 90 days. Onboarding sellers was extremely easy, especially if retailers and brands were using VTEX, too. More than 84 sellers are available now and there are three types of shipping: home delivery, pick-up in-store and curbside pick-up. 

The financial services industry

In a race for super apps, a lot of banks, either purely digital or with a multi-channel approach, have decided to become one-stop-shops and offer their customers more than just banking services. They often insert a marketplace in a proprietary app or institutional website, where plenty of product catalogs are integrated and multi-seller carts, discount codes and cashback straight into the bank account make shopping fun and convenient.

One such bank is Banco Inter, a VTEX customer since the end of 2019. The Brazilian fintech giant built its shopping marketplace inside its app in just two months with the help of VTEX’s headless architecture. It now hosts over 100 sellers and scores incredible performances in each big retail event, like Black Friday and Inter Day. 

Another digital bank consolidating its non-financial value proposition is PicPay. After five months of implementation, its headless marketplace app on the PicPay Store went live in April 2021. Onboarding sellers and brands is as easy as plug-and-play and results showcase end-customers tremendously enjoy doing everything in one place, as all the company’s verticals have been boosted. 

More recently, Banco next’s online marketplace, nextShop, also went live with VTEX in less than five months, just in time for Black Friday 2021. VTEX’s Professional Services team did what they do best and offered technical and business consulting to ensure the project’s success. Amongst the highlights reside an exclusive cashback solution and split payments.  

Start your digital transformation

Setting up the infrastructure for selling products or services online shouldn’t be a headache-inducing process. It should be simple, clear and quick. That’s why VTEX continues to strive to improve time-to-market, shaping its product development in a way that eases the start or rejuvenation of any ecommerce initiative. If you’re interested in launching or replatforming your website soon, we’ve got you covered. 

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