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Indy Guha and Blas Caraballo

Did You Miss this Fall’s GELF Summit? Catch Up with Our Insights on the Global E-Commerce Leaders Forum

Walmart Mexico Sets the Bar for National E-commerce Innovation

The Global E-Commerce Leaders Forum (GELF) took place on September 28 – 29th at Sheraton Times Square.  The Forum featured two days of programming highlighting both global retail expansion and cross-border e-commerce strategies with presentations from over 30+ e-commerce executives. GELF’s regional showcase highlighted Latin America and featured Blas Caraballo from Walmart Mexico.  Moderated by Indy Guha, CMO of Signifyd, Caraballo discussed Walmart’s e-commerce development specifically during the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.  Read on to learn how Walmart Mexico pivoted in the wake of rapid e-commerce adoption in the country and refined their strategy for long-term, sustainable, digital transformation.

Caraballo, a  seasoned executive in the e-commerce and digital payments space, reflects on Walmart Mexico’s enormous e-commerce growth in 2020

 Blas Caraballo, VP of Financial Services and Digital Payments of Walmart, was just settling into his new position at Walmart in March 2020 as COVID-19 transformed consumer shopping behaviors. In the decade leading up to the pandemic, Mexico was behind many of its LATAM counterparts regarding e-commerce platforms, delivery, and digital payments, however by March 2020 Caraballo cites Mexico was on track to be one of the leading countries in e-commerce in Latin America.

While Walmart had invested in its omnichannel ecosystem since 2017, Caraballo highlighted the pandemic as a significant catalyst for e-commerce adoption among Mexican customers. Subsequently, many customers became repeat omnichannel clients due to the security and convenience of omni-integration.

Throughout the pandemic Caraballo highlighted Walmart’s continued social listening and adaptation efforts to best serve its customers during ever-changing times; these efforts were rewarded, as Walmart Mexico’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) is higher in the present than pre-pandemic. The positive customer sentiment echoed in digital sales growth, as Walmart Mexico closed 2020 with a 150% annual growth in e-commerce.

Walmart Mexico invested in a variety of digital services to best serve customers’ changing shopping behaviors

Much of the increase in positive consumer sentiment came from Walmart’s continued investment in its omnichannel services. The onset of the pandemic forced many Mexican shoppers to switch to e-commerce; however, many customers became repeat omnichannel clients as they were drawn to the convenience and security of transactions.

Walmart tailored their omnichannel services to cater to customers at all stages of digital maturity. The company provides a payment upon delivery option to dissuade concerns for first-time online shoppers and facilitate the transition to online payment.  Additionally, Walmart Mexico invested in in-store kiosks with endless aisle capabilities, enabling customers to purchase through the catalogue and schedule delivery.  With this variety of services, Caraballo emphasizes the importance of continuous adaptation to best serve customers.

Walmart in-store kiosk

Source: Walmart Mexico Corporation

Walmart Mexico leverages its strong 2020 growth to continue to serve customers in an omnichannel environment in 2021 and beyond

COVID-19 defined the new normal for shopping in Mexico, as it facilitated a transition to e-commerce and omnichannel engagement; for many, the transition was well received. Caraballo indicates customers are now more demanding in their standards of service and delivery moving into this “new normal”. Thus, the challenge is to continue to deliver those promises to meet customer expectations.

Looking ahead, Caraballo again references the digital climate of Mexico, citing approximately 25% of the population owning credit cards, as a key consideration for development of digital experiences. With most of the population not transacting via credit card, the ability to pay in store or pay upon delivery is critical to accommodate these clients.  Additionally, Caraballo indicated the ability to pay in installments as critical to the Walmart Mexico customer, through buy-now pay-later platforms, thus the team continues to work with financial partners to make those transactions feasible.

Finally, Caraballo called out a Walmart Mexico store-specific development in contactless payment, specifically through Walmart’s cashi app.  The app allows customers to add funds to their account in store and pay for Walmart purchases, as well as utilities and other bills via QR code.

Walmart's cashi app

Source: Google Play Store

Walmart’s cashi app allows customers to upload funds in-store and pay for purchases via QR code.

As Walmart continues to adapt their digital services to best serve Mexico’s rapidly developing digital climate, they continue to prioritize customer trust and convenience in their omnichannel services.  In a country where financial technology is transforming the customer experience, Walmart Mexico has the opportunity to set the standard for digital services, both in terms of e-commerce and a comprehensive omnichannel ecosystem. If you’d like to learn more about our work in international expansion, global retail innovation or digital transformation, simply Contact Us.  To stay up to date on our latest retail insights, follow us on LinkedIn and if you’re interested in learning more about GELF or want to access additional content from the conference, visit GELF’s website.

Reagan Jacobs

rjacobs@mdretail.com

Reagan provides research, planning and analysis support for McMillanDoolittle retail consulting projects. She supports company and client projects through consumer research planning, merchandise and operations analysis, financial modeling and graphic design work.

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