Exclusive: this is how Supermercado Libre will debut, Galperín's bet that makes Coto, Walmart and Carrefour tremble
CyberMonday made it clear that ecommerce continues to show signs of good health and defying "ironing" consumption in physical stores, where the numbers have remained in red for 14 consecutive months.
According to the Electronic Commerce Chamber, almost 12,000 million pesos were billed in the three official days of the event, which represents a growth of 64% compared to the 2018 edition. In other words, 10 points above 54% year-on-year inflation .
When analyzing the average ticket, the highest income corresponded to durable goods (cell phones and appliances). However, measured in terms of units sold, the item that stood out the most by far was food and beverages, which increased 165% in relation to the previous CyberMonday.
This shows clearly how the benefits offered by buying online come to alleviate the sharp rise in prices recorded in this category, which was almost 60% in the last 12 months. On the other hand, CyberMonday reinforces two trends that grow in the country and feed back:
a) More Argentines turn to ecommerce to find the best deals and cushion the inflationary impact
b) The vast majority have already lost the fear of buying online, not only durable goods but also necessities
Mercado Libre follows closely what happens and hurries the launch of its online "supermarket". The CyberMonday, with the increasing prominence of products in the basic basket, and the Hot Sale, in which the vedette was a package of sugar, have been a double check for its strategy already underway.
The virtual shelf
From the eMarketer consultancy point out that Argentina is the seventh country in the world in growth of online commerce (18.8%) and that the table of positions is led by Mexico (35%). These are two territories in which Marcos Galperín's firm is the protagonist and in which he plans to strengthen his competitive strategy by betting on warehouse products.
"It is a worldwide trend: ecommerce is going through our daily lives and makes more people turn to online consumption, motivated by the search for better prices and more financing," says Karen Bruck, commercial vice president of Mercado Libre.
The executive is aware that the current context forces a good part of society to reduce purchases. "We want to be the place chosen for that purpose," he adds.
At this time, the company is finalizing details of what will be its new great bet: SuperMercado Libre, which will include warehouse products, non-perishable food, beverages, cleaning and perfume products, among others.
"The section of 'mass consumption', which contains everything that people would usually buy in a supermarket is one of the most growing in the region and particularly in Argentina," says Bruck with numbers in hand that, by policies of The company prefers not to spread.
For this first stage, the list of suppliers is about to close. Specifically, the debut will include 18 official stores of brands, supermarkets and wholesalers that, together, will place in the "virtual gondolas" about 165,000 items, including those in the basic basket, as well as other premium or niche.
The company led by Galperín also adapted its platform with an element of online supermarkets: the shopping cart. Frequent users surely detected that it incorporated the "Add to cart" option, a way to group items and receive them in a single distribution instead of buying them (and agreeing to their shipment) separately.
Bruck assures iProUP that Supermercado Libre will make its debut in Argentina "shortly". Most likely, the pilot test of this service in Mexico will end, where the service has already been operational for a few months.
"As in Mexico, Supermercado Libre will be a special section that will stand out for having a differential navigation for the purchase of products that will require a service different from the rest of the items that are sold online," remarks the executive.
The Mercado Libre directive ensures that the result in Aztec land has been "excellent", so the way to replicate this initiative in Argentina has already been paved. "Everything is designed so that users can have a better shopping experience and so they can easily solve their day-to-day needs," he says.
Logistics, the great challenge
Like other online businesses, Mercado Libre faces as one of its main challenges that shipments arrive as soon as possible. But, in addition to fast, it should be cheaper in the case of essential items, which have a lower average ticket than electronics and clothing.
To solve it, he established several shipping strategies to leverage his e-commerce, for which he recorded $ 3.6 billion in turnover in the region only in the last quarter, of which about $ 700 million comes from Argentina.
"Logistic success depends on the shipments arriving in the fastest and most efficient way. For this we have Mercado Envíos, which is the business unit focused on providing logistics solutions. To achieve this, we work with multiple operators," says Bruck.
This division includes a pool of suppliers - such as Correo Argentino, Andreani and OCA, to name a few - whose services include the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in order to offer the most efficient route according to the address of the seller and buyer. However, for packages that require delivery on the day the firm has another solution.
"We believe that it is also important to offer different options for users to live a more agile and practical shopping experience. In this sense we highlight Flex, a logistics option by which the seller has the possibility to recruit their trusted distributors and coordinate deliveries through the app, "says Bruck.
This service is a delivery application - in the style of Glovo, Rappi and Orders Now - that only Mercado Libre users can use. Thus, they choose motorcycle delivery couriers and delivery applications for companies through the platform. It is also possible to monitor the motorcycle ride on the map.
"Today, more than 50% of shipments within Federal Capital are made through Mercado Envíos Flex, with a delivery service on the same day or up to 24 hours," says the executive to iProUP.
The growth of this service is evidenced in Treggo, one of the motor-messaging platforms that participates in Flex, whose turnover grew almost 600% year-on-year so far.
Regarding the automated storage center that the firm installed in the Central Market area and its application in the new service, Bruck says that the goal is "to provide sellers with a comprehensive logistics solution." The firm "takes care of the storage, the immediate preparation of orders - just after the sale - and subsequent dispatch".
"We seek to evolve the section of mass consumption in e-commmerce and that the user can make purchases from the supermarket exclusively online, with a focus 100% oriented to experience and comfort," he remarks.
But the new functionality will not have "from the go" with some of the most sought after categories by those who attend the super traditional: fresh and frozen, which will remain for a second stage, since they involve specific conservation and shipping methods.
"For now, our focus for the category is cupboard products. However, our goal is always to have the widest possible offer and improve the user experience from faster and faster shipments," says Bruck.
While SuperMercado Libre prepares for millions of users to travel its gondolas, Garbarino has been selling everything for a month with excellent results and Coto will do the same in the coming months, as iProUP reported.
Thus, the main players of the trade - electronic and physical - prepare to fight in the virtual space, from providing the best shopping experience, the most comfortable service and, of course, the most convenient prices.