pandemic winners and losers

One of the new trends is the “social selling” or shared cart that aims to achieve a more agile interaction with customers

“ECommerce was a convenience before and now it is a necessity that generated habits that are sure to last over time,” he told iProfesional. Darius Schilman, country manager of Vtex for Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Schilman analyzes in the following iProfessional interview the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the measures of social containment to prevent its spread, in electronic commerce.

-Since the isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, on March 20, until now, how has this measure impacted your company? What measures did they take?

-Being a technology company, remote work was already a custom. However, we understand that it is a special situation, and that is why at Vtex we adapt to the schedule of the collaborator, his family and also to the needs and emergencies of the clients.

We gave employees the possibility of conditioning their workspace, with the purchase of a comfortable chair or desk to spend the workday, and we introduced a 15-minute daily calls routine, at the beginning and end of the day, as a statement of intention of the day’s tasks and progress and progress, which gives us a very good result.

In less than a semester, traffic doubled

-How has the market where your company operates in Argentina changed since the isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, on March 20, until now?

Electronic commerce had a great increase in its demand, the need to buy brought those who were more reluctant and suspicious closer and found a safe, comfortable and simple place.

Such is the increase in demand that the traffic of our stores doubled compared to January 2020 and we are receiving approximately 40% more queries to implement online stores compared to a “normal” month.

Before, eCommerce was a convenience and now it is a necessity that generated habits that will surely last over time. Furthermore, through the training and market support initiatives that we are offering with weekly webinars, we see a marked interest in understanding the context and how quarantine impacts business by some players who already have an eCommerce today, as well as those who have not yet.

Vtex has moved quickly to allow its customers to have all the new technologies at their fingertips. One of the new trends is the “social selling“or shared cart that aims to achieve a more agile interaction with customers.

Sellers who normally serve in physical stores can continue selling online, from any device, adding products and sending the cart to the customer through channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and email; and another growing trend is the implementation of dark stores and marketplaces in record time.

What we prepare for this quarantine context are fast time to market solutions. We have proposals for those companies that are interested in being online in 20 days and so they can start operating on the digital channel.

Darío Schilman: “We are receiving approximately 40% more queries to implement online stores compared to a ‘normal’ month.”

Step from adolescence to adulthood in eCommerce

-What consequences in the short and medium term will the pandemic and preventive measures against it generate in your company and in the market where it operates in Argentina?

-What we are seeing is that those companies that already had the digital model in operation, they are experiencing an acceleration of the learning curve. In other words, the digital channel had been operating, but as a secondary or marginal channel, and what is currently happening is that this channel became the star channel for commercialization.

Therefore, they are moving from adolescence to adulthood in a very short period of time. Is learning and maturation curve it was substantially accelerated and increased by the effect of the pandemic and isolation.

Equally, these companies were forced to optimize and improve processes that they already had installed because they are being stressed like never before. Although a digital operation already existed, being perhaps a marginal operation or not of the volume that it is taking today, they are forced to rethink many processes and business definitions because at present, they are not adequate.

Compared to those companies that did not have their e-commerce process oiled, they are certainly at a disadvantage. It is a reality and we can see it with the home office for example: the companies that did not have the habit of the home office, suddenly had to forcibly pass all their operation / provision to the virtual, causing an abrupt change in their way of working and of operate. The same is the case with electronic commerce.

In this context, we see two well-marked attitudes by organizations who had the e-commerce project in the pending folder:

On the one hand they are companies that are still in shock and they have no decision-making capacity when dealing with more elementary or basic issues to their business such as the health of the workforce, the payment of payroll, or business continuity. This prevents them from this reaction capacity to see a little further. On the other hand, there are companies that take advantage of the moment to create and prepare for what is to come: the post-quarantine world.

From Vtex we strongly recommend take advantage of this time to adopt all the digital transformation initiatives that were relegated and had not been taken into account by the day-to-day that in business many times, takes the focus off.

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