Advance: Axion agrees that its network of stations work as a "picking point" for purchases by Mercado Libre
With the advance of the digital economy, some oil companies seem to be in an anomalous situation with respect to the rest of the industries.
It happens that while the retail sector or banks have a reference to look at to imitate strategies, service stations lack a clear model to follow.
Additionally, although electric cars promise to change the propulsion paradigm of the transportation industry, hybrids, which use fuel to generate electricity, also show strength; and plug-in hybrids, which can be plugged into the power grid.
In a few words, it is likely that different types of vehicles will coexist in the coming decades.
In this frame, the companies of the sector only give something for sure: the worse thing that they can do is to remain quiet.
As iProUP knew, the main oil companies in the country already have a "digital plan" to adapt to the technological transformation.
Among all those that have a network of service stations and want to accelerate in the new trends, Axion appears, with proposals that range from providing "pick-up" service for Mercado Libre to electric charging and mobile payments.
"There are concepts in which, as a company, we try to position ourselves, based on quality and innovation, we have been implementing a large number of actions to offer a greater number of products and services," they say from iProUP.
Mercado Libre, the partner
Axion was the first network of retail outlets that adopted the payment through cell phones using QR codes in alliance with Mercado Pago, the Mercado Libre virtual wallet.
However, the strategic agreement with the e-commerce giant has another phase in which it has already put the first one: to use its own network of service stations as a "picking point". That is, as points of withdrawal of the products sold on the platform, as iProUP could confirm.
At this time, Axion and MercadoLibre work on deepening this new option of MercadoEnvíos, by which the seller of a product leaves it in the store of the service station so that it can later be withdrawn by the buyer.
The items are stored in a warehouse of the service station and the employees of the shop are responsible for receiving and delivering them.
"It's a huge logistical saving, but what people value the most, both the one who leaves the merchandise and the one who withdraws it, is that they go to a safe point, which is open 24 hours a day and in which they have a place to park. ", explain from Axion to iProUP.
In this way, in addition, meetings between the two parties are avoided, which sometimes generates distrust in the users of the platform. According to the company, it is a service that is having great acceptance and to which they bet on strong development.
This initiative is a key for MercadoLibre, since it could thus seek a way to reduce its dependence on postal companies, especially in large cities.
It is that these companies not only add a high cost to logistics. In some cases, there are long delays in deliveries.
On the other hand, the Argentine giant of e-commerce remembers the guild problems of OCA that resulted in more than one headache. To avoid delays in deliveries, Mercado Envios has agreements not only with that firm, but also with various partners, such as Correo Argentino and Ocasa. "The election of the mail for each transaction is made by an algorithm based on geographic data", they detail.
It also aims to be the prelude to the arrival of "lockers", a strategy applied by Amazon for several years in grocery stores and other public places in the US.
These are automatic lockers, that is, they do not require personnel to operate them: both the one who leaves and the one who takes a package can open the locker by typing a code provided by the e-commerce giant.
"Mercado Envíos always evaluates all the options, so it's not something that can be ruled out," sources close to the Argentine unicorn told iProup.
In parallel, the company led by Marcos Galperín expects to inaugurate in March a distribution center of 38,000 m2 in the Central Market, in the Buenos Aires party of La Matanza.
It is an Amazon-style storage center, in which:
- Mercado Libre invested $ 100 million to develop, together with the software firm Bautec, an automated classification system
- Plaza Logística, partner of the e-commerce portal in this project, disbursed $ 615 million for the construction of the site. They will be able to enter 74 trucks per hour and 300,000 packages per day will be dispatched.
- The best sellers will be able to store their stock there so that the items are sent directly when they are purchased.
YPF first went out to install the chargers for electric cars in the country in 2017, although they were never operational. Is that the state company is waiting for the Government to authorize it to market electricity, a measure resisted in Justice by the distributor Edesur.
To avoid this problem, Axion resorted to a "b" plan: it inaugurated its electric pump in mid-December, in its branch of Av. Del Libertador y Salguero, where it offers the service free of charge.
"The electric charger takes less than a month and is used on average by two vehicles every week," they reveal from the company.
In this sense, point out from Axion that these cars will be part of the Argentine reality, so that "we can not stop completing our offer of products and services, designed more than anything in what will happen".
From the company say that the time of "filling" an electric vehicle depends on the speed of the pump and the speed of loading of the vehicle (the delay is given by the lowest number).
"In the case of Kangoo ZE, it is 7.5 kilowatt per hour, while our loaders are 22 Kw / h For each hour, it adds 35 km of autonomy," they say from Axion.
From the company add that customers of this type of car spend an average hour at the station. "They load their vehicle, they enter the store Spot! And they have lunch, they have a coffee, or they work on their laptop when they connect via wi-fi", they add.
In addition to projecting an innovative image and the possibility of offering other products in stores, the free electric charge service points to another strategic issue.
"Today, the energy we deliver leaves our network, we pay it to the distributor (in this case, Edenor) and we are giving it away, because until the market resolves its regulations and commercial viability, we choose to give it free to understand how the market and use it as a test for what we know is coming ", explain from the oil company.
In addition, they point out that the stations that are still being remodeled from scratch by the rebranding of Esso to Axion (some 40 of the 640 total) and the new ones that are opening in "neuralgic access points" of the Federal Capital will have the infrastructure to install an electric spout. Although they did not define which ones will have one.
"We were the first oil company to offer the payments with QR in alliance with Mercado Pago", boast from Axion.
The company says that this means of payment "today is superinstalled" and even placed screens on the tips of the islands of the pumps so that the driver does not even get out of the car.
This efficiency of card payments now has another objective on the part of the oil company: that the flow of customers that can be attended to be expanded more quickly and thus place a greater supply of fuel.
"This year we will inaugurate the expansion of our Campana refinery, in which we invested US $ 1,500 million, which will allow us to increase production capacity by 60%," they reveal.
For this reason, the firm also plans to participate in the "contacless" move led by Prisma for this year and has service stations, supermarkets and fast food chains as its main allies.
In this sense, the company that issues the Visa cards and recently obtained the Mastercard license started the operation to provide the stores with these new plastics that do not "slide" through a POS terminal.
On the contrary, the customer supports the credit or debit card on the reader and accepts the transaction, without having to sign a payment coupon, thus reducing the rows to be paid.
Additionally, this technology can be easily implemented in a virtual wallet to support the cell phone over the reader, without having to carry the plastic.
In addition to streamlining transactions, the oil company has in mind the opening of new stations and face the reforms of the "inherited" after the purchase of Esso to "dump" the largest production. All these will have the installation for electric chargers.
While it continues to focus on its core, the oil companies accelerate their plan to offer the "new". Because they know that digital transformation is a high-speed highway where customer demands always go in the left lane.