Carlos Garijo is Director of Digital Transformation and Innovation at Perfume’s Club . He has worked in companies such as Cristalinas, L’Oréal or Electrolux where he has developed his expertise in ecommerce, marketplace and digital marketing.
What would you say are the greatest strengths of online sales in Spain?
Companies have the great challenge of adapting to the growth experienced by the online channel in all sectors, but this implies going beyond intentions and investing in both resources and technology . It is no longer “everything for everyone”, or half-measure solutions. Either we are aware of the necessary specialization of the profiles to tackle the tasks (and this also implies investment in reskilling, upskilling, new roles,…) or we will be losing a great opportunity… and a lot of business.
Technology is becoming more affordable and easier to handle, which does not mean looking for “if it is free, better”, and knowing how to use it will allow the channel to be strengthened and reach the consumer quickly, easily and conveniently.
It is obvious that we already “think DIGITAL”, but the products and processes must be adapted now, generate better service, faster, a customized product and consequently, provide benefits to the customer who uses this channel.
The technological barriers for the end user are being “filed down”, but sometimes it is the companies themselves that put obstacles when it comes to finding a product, paying or managing a transaction from any device.
The client trusts the channel because it has been shown that they can trust it, and we must respond to that trust. This has been one of the great drivers of traffic and transactions. It is the sum of the effort of the entire online channel to provide excellent customer service (from the sale to the delivery at home).
And its weaknesses?
As in any coin, there is also a side B where you have to keep working. And it is that a certain orientation to the client is still lacking, and we often assume that we know everything without asking them.
There is a lack of advice in the initial phase of the projects and, consequently, it is difficult to scale them later, because the models are not prepared.
We have to work to simplify purchasing processes or flows . One of the common characteristics of the great marketplace or ecommerce software is its simplicity in the sales funnel, and that part is still missing in many ecommerce.
The Spanish consumer is not yet aware of logistics costs and is causing a pointless price and free shipping war. This is culture. In Spain it is difficult for us to pay for the service or for a good service, and it is a brake on the development of many businesses.
What three keys would you give to an ecommerce that wants to improve its business?
If you want to improve, it is already underway, and I want to assume that with better or worse success, you already have certain results. Under this starting point, I would recommend the following. First, ask your satisfied customer, the one who protests, the one who bought a day ago, a month ago and a year ago, … and validate what “you think” you are and what your customers think about what you are.
Second, take care of or build a community. In the medium and long term, it is the only way to have a profitable and sustainable business model. Every day there are more generalists who absorb the little ones.
If you are a niche you differentiate yourself, you are special and your community/customer is captive and faithful, you will have a treasure (and a future business).
Third, value your customer beyond billing a single order . Be consistent with your proposal and treat your client as you would like them to treat you on any subject.
If you would like your money back in the event of a problem, do so. If you would like them to call you to ask for an order, do it with your customers.
And an extra bonus: Don’t be afraid to PIVOT your business model if the client asks you to. We have to be good at what we do, but we must not let ourselves be “sunk” by our idea and evolve when the client asks us to.
In your opinion, what will be the biggest revolution in ecommerce in the coming years?
Being futurists I want to think about the CHANNEL or MEDIUM. New devices will come from which we “will buy”, such as our televisions or our cars, and it is undoubtedly a challenge when it comes to developing ad-hoc interfaces and products for these channels.
But being closer to today’s ecommerce, we have to evolve in terms of formats and means of payment, and everything related to logistics, both in the last mile and in the intermediate management chain.
There is a lot of talk about omnichannel as a model of coexistence between physical and digital commerce. What do you think about this trend?
We should start by defining what omnichannel is, because it is very hackneyed. When the digital world started, it began to be used indiscriminately to try to relate ON and OFF, but it should not only be applied to mix the digital and the physical. If you have two physical distribution channels, we can also talk about omnichannel.
My opinion is that we have to go more to an omniclient concept . It doesn’t matter where the client finds you and visits you, what device they use and what time they do it, it’s about JUAN, your client.
And where we should put our efforts is in segmenting, identifying and working with the different audiences or types of clients, because each “type” requires different treatment, a different form of communication, a unique message and a special image.
Let’s think about what we say to which segment and then broadcast the same thing on all “the channels”.
Does last-mile logistics continue to be one of the weak points of the digital shopping experience?
Without a doubt, but let’s start by breaking a spear in his favor, because he has improved a lot. Logistics companies are making titanic efforts to improve times, traceability or delivery options. But on the other hand we could say that within the ecommerce ecosystem it seems that it has not evolved as fast as other areas.
It certainly has to change. The current model is not supported by the cities, nor by the prices that the user demands. You have to start with a cultural change of the buyer and this part is neither easy nor in the hands of the logistics.
We have to work with new models, with disruptive ideas, with new formats, channels and costs, and these changes have to come hand in hand with cities, technology and e-commerce.
Do you recommend the use of technological solutions such as Deliverea, where logistics operations are centralized in an automated tool, for the proper development of an online business?
Without a doubt, relying on tools that simplify processes, automate flows and help you focus on your value proposition are not only recommended, they are necessary for any ecommerce.
We lack this vision in the Spanish market. We are very “juan palomo”, I cook it for myself, I eat it, and we have to have more of a business vision, of growth and of being able to add value where we know how to do it.
Everything that is not our business CORE must be automated or helped by external companies, and in this sense, any tool that provides “time” is essential.