Strategy

How Miniso completed a 5-month ecommerce project in just 5 weeks

Daniel Aleixo
Daniel Aleixo June 23, 2020
How Miniso completed a 5-month ecommerce project in just 5 weeks

Miniso is an international retailer specialized in Japanese-inspired products and has amassed a cult following in Asia. When they decided to open their first stores in Mexico, back in 2017, their strategy was clear: using physical stores to start establishing the brand in a new country. Three years and over 200 stores later, Miniso decided it was time to go online and capture a share of the world’s fastest growing ecommerce market.

Their initial plan was to launch its ecommerce site sometime in the third quarter of the year, taking advantage of the brand’s recognition built among Mexican shoppers for the last three years. But then, COVID-19 hit Mexico.

Desperate times call for fast action

Following lockdown measures, Miniso’s physical stores had to be closed down, leading to a catastrophic reduction of sales to zero. It was time to act fast and redesign their digital transformation project from five months to five weeks.

“Now that Miniso is a well-recognized brand in Mexico, it’s the perfect time to introduce this new sales channel. The pandemic only made it necessary to speed up the process. What we initially planned to develop in four or five months, we had to do in five weeks. We’re going live with an MVP and will make improvements from that. But this first version already provides the full experience the brand is known for”.

Arturo Tishman, Miniso’s LATAM VP of Sales.

VTEX was the perfect match for Miniso’s requirements. Working alongside Miniso and their implementation partner, VTEX spearheaded the project using Agile methodologies to get everything up and running inside a short timeframe. In order to accomplish this, the team applied the same approach they have used to launch other successful projects in Mexico, such as the supermarket chain Calimax. It included two daily meetings to keep everyone on track: One first thing in the morning to set the tasks, and another at the end of the day to check what had been done. Both meetings opened with a reiteration of the go-live date so that everyone involved in the project worked towards the same goal.

Working closely with Miniso and letting all stakeholders be aware of the progress and possible setbacks ensured approvals were given at the appropriate time. These prevented delays potentially caused by miscommunication.

Omnichannel ecommerce from the start for Miniso

Miniso did have a Distribution Center in Mexico, so they planned to integrate their brick-and-mortar stores’ inventories with their website. VTEX Commerce Cloud’s out-of-the-box features made this a lot easier. 

Our native integration with JANIS, a picking system used by leading supermarkets and retailers, played a big part in making sure that their omnichannel operations were efficient. This solution offers better pickup control in the stores, more accurate product replacement suggestions, and product and pricing adjustments.

The combination of VTEX’s unified commerce platform and JANIS enabled the Miniso ecommerce operation to start selling as soon as the website went live. This solution generated revenue from over 200 stores across Mexico, while they were closed to the public. 

Our project team’s expertise in omnichannel, along with their deep understanding of the client’s business, was crucial for the project’s success. The Miniso ecommerce project went from blueprint to go-live, shipping orders from stores across the country in as little as five weeks.

“For the retail industry, this very moment is an intense learning experience, probably the most important we’ll have in many years. For us, it’s a matter of making Miniso available whenever and wherever our customers like. And during the lockdown, people are browsing through the web more than ever”.

Gabriela Gutiérrez, Miniso’s LATAM Ecommerce Director.
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