Mass consumption companies must transform themselves so as not to disappear

The retail industry is one of the industries that has evolved the most with the pandemic. This panorama was one of the topics of conversation at Supermartech 2021, the great retail forum that was held virtually, to bring together the main players in this sector in Latin America.

In this conversation, Darío Schilman, Executive VP Latin America of Vtex, highlighted the work that supermarkets have done in this part of the world, demonstrating their ability to evolve.

“The supermarkets have behaved up to the expectations of the users, obviously, with a small period of lag, natural in the face of this situation that we are experiencing due to the pandemic.”


Mauricio Arnábar, Chief of Strategy and Commercial of Jüsto, the first 100% online supermarket, also participated in this talk.

“Historically, retail has been an industry with little innovation, but this changed with the arrival of the pandemic. We now live in a time of constant transformation. Disruption and trial and error have been the order of the day.”

Arnábar highlighted that the pandemic has led some companies to start focusing on organic and fresh products. In short, we are now experiencing a moment of greatest dynamism.


Likewise, Juan Sebastián Ruales, Global Head New Business of Rappi, shared his opinion in the talk.

“Our work as last mile operators does not depend only on supermarkets. A strong relationship is established with other business verticals, such as pharmacies, pets, restaurants, financial services, etc.”

Ruales emphasized that Latin America will be digital and will consume more and more through digital channels:

“Retailers have to develop faster according to digital models at the forefront of the world, such as quick commerce, which already works in some countries.”


Challenges for an omnichannel operation

Supermartech also discussed the future of supermarkets and the mass consumption sector. For this reason, a call was made for the consolidation of the omnichannel operation, as a strategy to face the future successfully.

Mauricio Arnábar pointed out that, in this way, it is an enormous responsibility to adapt the shopping experience by the consumer, who previously went directly to the supermarket and who now receives the products at the door of his house.

“We are responsible for everything that happens from when the customer is browsing to decide what to order, until they receive the products. And in Latin America this challenge is greater. Sometimes you have to standardize many processes with people operating and it is not easy. There is very little room to fail.”

The Jüsto representative said that another vertical to work on is the assortment-price relationship, because it is essential to focus 100% on customers.

“You have to achieve the perception that you have it all and that the client should not go elsewhere. This is a huge and constant challenge for the sector,” he concluded.


Schilman explained that Vtex had already been working on substitute management issues before the pandemic, which allowed them to quickly adapt to the new situation with a personalized omnichannel experience.


Finally, Ruales indicated that Rappi considers that the industry has three strong challenges:

  • Experience
    Identify the personal tastes of customers.
  • Analytics
    As we become more intelligent in handling data, it is necessary to segment people better.
  • Mindset
    Find the best way to capture more value faster.

“For me, the great difference between the companies that are going to be able to stay and those that are not going to continue tomorrow is that the latter will be the ones that have not managed to change their mindset or understand that the world has changed. Those who remain static, in a few years they will be out of the game.”

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