“The bet on ecommerce within the commercial strategies will generate changes in the structures of each business,” predicted Javier Goilenberg.
Javier Goilenberg (in the photo), CEO of the company Real Trends, analyzes in the following interview of iProfessional the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the measures of social containment to prevent its spread, in the electronic commerce sector.
-Since the isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, on March 20, until now, how has this measure impacted your company? What measures did they take?
-Preventive and compulsory isolation hit all companies, to a greater and lesser extent. In our case, it forced us to work remotely indefinitely. Although we did it regularly, and we had the necessary tools in place, it was difficult for us not to have the meeting space between the teams.
Second, the uncertainty generated by ignorance of the full impact that the pandemic will have led us to take measures associated with the cost reduction and suspension of new job searches, in order to secure all current jobs. Today the priority is to take care of the team, their salaries, and the quality of our service as a permanent commitment to our users.
Growth of electronic commerce due to quarantine
-How has the market where your company operates in Argentina changed since the isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, on March 20, until now?
-Real Trends provides a platform with analysis and management tools for Mercado Libre sellers. Immediately after mandatory quarantine was decreed in Argentina, we saw a sharp drop in sales since, despite the fact that the post and courier services worked, the sellers of products that were not of first necessity (the vast majority) could not go to their premises or warehouses to prepare them for dispatch.
This drop in sales had a direct impact on our turnover, which is proportionally linked to the amount of sales of our users. With the passing of the weeks and the circulation permits, we have seen a rebound in sales and growth in ecommerce in general.
We believe that this impact will be seen throughout the region. In Mercado Libre, for example, a total of 1.7 million new users have already registered in Latin America, according to their latest report.
-What consequences in the short and medium term will the pandemic and preventive measures generate, in your company and in the market where you operate in Argentina?
-In the short term, it was the adaptation of our equipment to remote work in full and take care, as a priority, of our people and our users. Unfortunately, the medium term is a little uncertain, but the changes in consumer habits, especially in basic necessities, but also in their entirety, demonstrate the growth of ecommerce in Argentina and in the region.
Buying online today is not only safe, but recommended to prevent the spread of the virus. So, many brands (large and small) may already be evaluating the future performance of their physical retail locations, among other measures. Due to this, the bet in ecommerce within the commercial strategies will generate changes in the structures of each business.
-How do you evaluate the government response at its different levels (Nation, provinces, municipalities) to the consequences of the pandemic and isolation, in the market where your company operates?
-Strict quarantine was necessary and measures were taken in time to prevent the collapse of our health system and that is a priority. In economic terms, it was also necessary to gradual extension of movement permits to allow more SMEs to operate and sell.
It is studied that many of them do not survive more than a month without income. At the same time, we believe that companies that were able to work from home and gambled to do so, even before the mandatory quarantine at the government’s request, have been very helpful to the overall context.
-In the context of the pandemic and isolation, what government measures do you consider to be necessary in the short and medium term?
-In the short term, we believe that it will be necessary, little by little, incorporate more business permits that they still cannot activate their sales, either due to lack of stock on the part of their suppliers or due to not having enough equipment to manage their online sales.
In the medium term, some kind of financial aid will be necessary that allows small and medium-sized companies to restructure, pay all their salaries and, possibly, debts.
We believe that we will all come out of this situation together. That is why, from our place, we offer great discounts to our users for the use of our platform, since it is a facilitator to sell more in Free market (the main marketplace in Latin America and a large storefront to start selling online), and trainings along with other digital resources 100% free so that more sellers can access the ecommerce ecosystem and keep their businesses on their feet.
Real Trends offers systems to analyze and manage businesses in Mercado Libre.
Real Trends is a platform for analysis and management tools for Mercado Libre sellers. More than 15 thousand sellers already use it to react in real time and optimize their business, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
Javier Goilenberg, CEO and co-founder of Real Trends, trained in information systems engineering at UTN. An ecommerce specialist, he created this analysis and management tool platform for Mercado Libre sellers.
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