VTEX helps S’pore businesses master the shift to e-commerce
Businesses face a constant struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors and stand out to their customers.
It’s far too easy for companies to become “just another supplier” without really building a relationship with their customers. Distributors, manufacturers and wholesalers all face this problem. As a result, business stagnates, customers leave, and businesses fail.
However, more and more businesses have recently turned to e-commerce, with Covid-19 being one of the main drivers of this change. Additionally, selling products online means greater reach for businesses, which translates into better business.
This means that more and more companies are vying for a piece of the e-commerce pie, alongside the e-commerce giants already established in the market.
But another global brand, with Brazilian roots, is joining the party.
Called VTEX, it is a digital e-commerce platform and it has been dubbed the fastest growing e-commerce platform in the world for the past couple of years. To date, the company has more than 2,400 customers and 3,200 active online stores in 38 countries.
What exactly does VTEX do?
The company began by developing software for the textile industry in Latin America.
“The founders, Geraldo Thomaz and Mariano Gomide, took the first steps with $150,000 which they obtained by pooling their own savings and the investment of a former boss. This is how Vitrine Têxtil was born,” said Pablo Che Leon Sarmiento, VTEX General Manager for Southeast Asia.
“The first 10 years were really tough, but it was also very important to teach the founders and establish the culture of VTEX.”
When the founders failed to bring their original idea to fruition, they decided a change in strategy was needed. The new idea? Pivoting VTEX into an e-commerce solution with global aspirations.
Their big break came in 2007, when VTEX was chosen by Walmart to develop their e-commerce platform.
This opportunity was not only a door to go global, it also opened their eyes to how VTEX could define itself in the e-commerce space and differentiate itself from its competitors.
During these intense eight months, we realized that the challenges we were facing had nothing to do with generating revenue for our client. Security, privacy, scalability, servers, deployment, testing – we tackled every issue except how to interact with and amaze the end consumer.
This complex challenge inspired us: how could a large, blue chip company keep up with the fast pace of the digital world while dealing with so much overhead? It became clear that businesses needed to find a way to move online without wasting time and resources on unnecessary complexities.
The industry needed a scalable solution. We knew VTEX could transform technology from a burden to a powerful accelerator for business revenue growth.
– Geraldo Thomaz Jr. and Mariano Gomide de Faria, co-founders of VTEX
From there, the sky was the limit. VTEX has become the global digital commerce provider for enterprise brands such as Whirlpool, AB inBev and other Fortune 500 companies.
Getting the most out of an e-commerce platform
Lessons VTEX learned from their experience with Walmart were put to good use. VTEX has made its solutions and offerings unique, specifically addressing businesses – wherever they are – to truly create a world of commerce without limits.
VTEX has created a business platform that allows businesses to focus on what matters most to them.
For companies that have a problem with logistics and getting products to customers, VTEX has its own shipping network to help companies ship their products.
For other businesses that want to better understand and expand their customer base, VTEX enables businesses to take full advantage of the data provided by their customers – to better understand and meet consumer needs, plan for the future, optimize supply chain and manage their channels.
VTEX offers a SaaS digital commerce platform built with enterprise-grade standards and features. It aims to empower customers to execute their business strategy, including building online stores, integrating and managing orders across all channels, and building marketplaces to sell products from third-party vendors. .
In addition, VTEX also offers enterprise solutions with capabilities that deliver unprecedented time-to-revenue, a range of customization options allowing businesses to create unique customer experiences while reducing the complexity of integration.
So companies can personalize their experiences and focus on their core competencies.
Following the opening of its Client Excellence Office in Singapore in 2020 and its initial public offering (IPO) last year on the New York Stock Exchange, VTEX is rapidly expanding across Asia-Pacific due to demand increasing number of customers.
Companies are, after all, keen to bring the company’s end-to-end business solution to the region.
Facing challenges when entering a new market is not uncommon. We faced challenges such as continuing to localize our platform for the local market, attracting, hiring and retaining top talent, and developing a strong and extensive partnership network.
We have been increasingly successful in overcoming these challenges. Proof of this is that when we engage with potential new customers, we are able to meet most of their demands without requiring substantial development from our regional product team.
–Pablo Che Leon Sarmiento, General Manager for Southeast Asia, VTEX
The future of VTEX in the APAC region
E-commerce retail sales was approximately US$4.9 trillion worldwide in 2021, according to Statista. This figure is expected to increase by 50% over the next four years, reaching around $7.4 trillion by 2025.
Following the growing trend of e-commerce, Asia-Pacific is by far the largest retail e-commerce market – its digital retail sales are more than three times that of North America and nearly five times higher than those of Western Europe.
So, what does VTEX think of its role in the APAC region, and what is the future it envisions?
On the one hand, VTEX believes that digital is the future, which the companies agree with.
“Discussing with companies and CEOs across Asia is an interesting experience. They are convinced that digital commerce is the future of their business and that the importance of having a direct relationship with consumers is a top priority,” said Pablo.
He added that the ongoing pandemic has exacerbated the need for retailers to better understand their consumers.
As the e-commerce platform of the future, VTEX is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of businesses in the region, thanks to its many capabilities and advantages. In fact, it already has several awards to its name – VTEX was rated a visionary by Gartner and awarded for excellence in B2B digital commerce.
However, that doesn’t mean that VTEX is content to rest on its laurels. There’s always more to do, and he’s a firm believer that e-commerce isn’t just about providing buyers and sellers with a place to buy and sell things.
He emphasized that e-commerce is also about building relationships, understanding customers and expanding reach. That’s why VTEX has created something that will greatly benefit businesses by reducing overhead and allowing them to focus on what really matters.
VTEX is also extremely adaptable to market trends, as shown by the addition of its Live Shopping capabilities.
Live shopping is the epitome of holistic shopping – it is an online shopping experience that combines a live video feed with the capabilities of a traditional digital store, delivering interactive content from which a consumer can directly make a purchase.
Specifically, Nestlé saw its orders and revenue increase by 269% and 206% respectively. These numbers would not have been possible without the adaptability and foresight of VTEX.
This (understanding customers) is not possible if retailers only play their digital commerce strategy with one hand. It is increasingly important to play this strategy with several hands.
This means providing retailers with a robust digital commerce capability to sell their products on a marketplace, build their own marketplace, sell their products through social media, conversational commerce, live streaming, while opening additional sales channels for their distributors and wholesalers.
–Pablo Che Leon Sarmiento, General Manager for Southeast Asia, VTEX
As VTEX continues to expand and grow, businesses can expect more.
At the end of the day, VTEX believes in making bold decisions for the success of its customers and ensuring that customers get the maximum benefit from e-commerce.
For companies looking to expand their offerings, better understand customers, and streamline production, you can try VTEX’s solutions. here.
Featured Image Credit: NYSE/Disclosure/JC