Silviu Gugui, Country Manager Bulgaria, eMAG
COVID-19 has accelerated enormously the global growth of e-commerce. How is eMAG managing the growth and are there any changes in the company’s model, strategy and structure?
The global pandemic accentuated the trend of digitalization for the entire region and for us, the most important thing during this time was that we were prepared to meet the increased demand. This was a result of years of planning for sustained growth and leading the e-commerce segment in our region. Regarding the company’s model, we continue with the same structure and the same strategy of returning with the help of technology the value created to our customers and to our partners. Before the pandemic we had the same strategy and focus; last year was a confirmation for us that we are doing a good job in always preparing for the future, being customer-centric and prepared to accelerate our growth.
What are the latest tech trends in e-commerce? How fast is the regional business adapting?
The most important and relevant trends are machine learning and AI – this helps the leading e-commerce brands to implement tailored experience for the clients and to bring the desired virtual store and ‘shelf’ very close to them in the customer journey. This takes the overall customer’s experience on a new level by saving valuable time and personalizing the whole process.
A good example is our mobile app, where in the last year we registered a significant users’ growth. Following an offline retail analogy: eMAG mobile app allows our customers to have the ‘Shopping Mall’ in their pockets all the time.
In the region, the online and fast commerce players reacted to meet the extra demand and adapted to the new market situation in different ways. Last year accelerated the development of an omnichannel approach to retail which together with most of the digitalization trends that started to be applied led to a bigger adoption of e-commerce.
How does technology impact and transform the online marketplace? What are the most recent eMAG’s Marketplace tech solutions?
In addition to selling their products at a national level, eMAG Marketplace partners can also expand internationally – at no additional cost from the platform and managing their business from a single platform. They can either list directly on eMAG Marketplace Romania and Hungary, or access free of charge the unique digital platform IMN (International Marketplace Network), which allows them to enter marketplaces in Italy, France and Germany.
Setting high standards in the activity and services offered in e-commerce is an important goal for us, so eMAG Marketplace invests in the most advanced technologies for growing online businesses, from marketing applications to virtual assistants. We also have the eMAG Academy for online entrepreneurs, giving them access to learning resources, tools and our extensive know-how.
How vital is consumer-centricity for the company? What are the biggest client management goals for 2021?
Our strategy for growth is serving the customers in the best possible way by using technology and innovation, thus establishing trust. We stand by our clients through their entire journey, aiming at offering a premium experience online. For this, we use a variety of tools and techniques meant to help them get easy access, discovery and purchase, together with transparent and proactive communication and offering of quality products and services. For better and faster delivery experience in the big cities, we are developing programs like ‘Next day delivery and for the better-tailored customer journey and improvement in finding the right products, we employ digital assistant, deco story, new listing layout, improved search engine, etc. Another focus is the integration of new payment methods that will bring more freedom to the way that customers interact with our platform, providing some new and easier choices of payment to the Bulgarian market.