Omnichannel, a key element for the future of commerce in Mexico

Last year was a difficult time for the Mexican economy. The income of different companies fell due to the health contingency. Only essential businesses were allowed to remain open.

One of the main questions that were raised on this issue was the question of what makes a business essential? The answer that first comes to mind is that they are those that cover basic needs.

However, if so, why were clothing stores or restaurants forced to close their doors? Does the sale of food and clothing not meet the needs of the human being? It would seem a bit arbitrary to make a decision about which places are closed and which are not. Those who could not keep direct selling to the public open, found a way to continue generating income virtually.

Currently, national businesses are showing good signs of recovery, despite the fact that the pandemic has not ended. Last July, the National Association of Self-service and Department Stores (ANTAD) reported that store sales showed an increase of 15.3%. In addition, most businesses can continue to operate, following sanitary measures such as site disinfection and capacity control.

After this dark period in the Mexican economy, experts were able to discern a business opportunity that had been emerging from previous years, e-commerce or electronic commerce. From 2019 to the first quarter of 2020, Mexico had increased consumption rates by 35% through digital commerce. However, the Mexican Online Sales Association (AMVO) in its Study on Online Sales 2021, states that online sales grew 81% during the lockdown.

With the exponential growth of this business model, it is more than evident that technology became a decisive factor for the success of any undertaking.

“The new consumer not only modified the demand for products, but also their traditional way of purchase. The current context brought it closer to technology and turned it into a digital buyer, which constitutes a challenge for commerce, since they will have to adapt and make investments in technology, mainly in their payment processing platforms ”, said Sergio Villarruel, General Manager at Fiserv México, during the webinar Shops facing the new reality: challenges and opportunities in their sales strategies.

Omnichannel, a key element for the future of commerce in Mexico Depositphotos.com

Omnichannel; the future of business

Omnichannel is a business strategy that consists of offering products or services through different points of sale, both physical and digital, always offering the same sales experience, whatever the route or channel through which the customer accesses.

It offers a more effective communication that generates a greater number of sales, compared to those that could be made through a single channel. Having an omnichannel strategy is a key factor to achieve greater competitiveness in the market.

Now that we know what omnichannel is and the benefits it brings, how can we adjust it to our business? It is necessary to create a synergy between digital and physical channels, create a kind of circular experience where the customer can see the product online and buy physically or vice versa.

This is what commonly occurs with department stores that apply the “Click and collect” sales format where you pay online and go to a physical branch to collect the product.

As we mentioned before, another key point is to generate multiple sales channels. Let’s think about a restaurant for a moment, it generates income from consumption in the local, in addition to generating through platforms such as UberEats, Rappi, DidiFood, home delivery by phone, orders made by the restaurant’s own app, orders made from the web platform, among other.

Another advantage of omnichannel is the promotion that is made to the company. Word of mouth recommendation is lagging behind. Currently you can go online and see reviews from different customers who evaluate the quality of the product, people sharing their purchases on their social networks. This is another point in favor of omnichannel, having a greater online presence, greater recommendations in case your product is better than the competition and thus, position yourself as a leader in the market in a more effective and forceful way.

Omnichannel, a key element for the future of commerce in MexicoPhoto: Fiserv

Challenges to face and solutions for them

Under this new sales modality, it will be necessary for entrepreneurs to adjust their businesses so that they are compatible with omnichannel.

One of the main problems to overcome is to normalize the use of technology, regardless of the line of business. What do we mean? Let’s imagine a tlapalería, a butcher shop or any small or medium-sized company; How can we ask you to start using a web portal, a digital application to be able to sell by these means?

Although it would seem that we all have access to a computer on a cell phone, many would not know how to move to omnichannel, the reality is that digitization is still a luxury. With average app development costs of medium complexity between 80,000 and 100,000 pesos, many cannot afford this investment. A solution to this problem is the use of public platforms, such as Facebook Marketplace, where small entrepreneurs can specify and agree on their sales and thus make use of omnichannel through a free channel.

The next problem to face is building trust with the customer so that they can give their payment details. The move to digitization brings with it a series of problems. The user may not feel the necessary confidence to make payments remotely, this for fear of fraud, data theft and card cloning. It is necessary to generate sufficient trust for the client to give their data. In addition to minimizing incidents such as those previously mentioned by creating a highly secure payment system.

Villarruel highlights that the companies that implemented an e-commerce page and that also opened the doors of their establishments must have a strategic plan that relies on technological tools that make physical and digital payment more efficient. Fiserv’s mission is to provide an omnichannel payment processing proposal to businesses so that it can offer its customers different alternatives to pay such as physical, mobile, virtual terminals, recurring charges, checkout integrations, interactive kiosks, links and buttons. payments, among others.

“Our products were designed to complement each other. In this way, merchants can carry out transactions by different means, attending to the different profiles of the arriving customers, providing the best experience since with all the payment solutions we offer, the merchant can accept national and foreign cards in a single terminal. , offer months without interest, receive electronic vouchers and wallets under the highest security standards ”, added Omega García Product Director for Digital Commerce in Latin America for Fiserv.

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