Making the move to e-commerce in the midst of a pandemic

Muma, a Colombian company dedicated to the manufacture and sale of furniture, very quickly activated its e-commerce to take advantage of the market opportunities generated by the current situation.

Before the pandemic,  the website of Muma , a company that is mainly dedicated to furniture for business and corporate spaces, was oriented towards sharing the products of its portfolio and the experience with them, not so much towards transactionality because most of its customers were businesses (B2B) and not the final consumer (B2C). For this reason, the e-commerce channel, although it was in the company’s plans, was not seen as a priority.

However, due to the global situation caused by the coronavirus, they immediately focused on this business model, even without being fully prepared; They understood that it was the way to respond to the new needs of users and to continue generating value .

Álvaro José Diaz, manager of Muma, explains that they worked on what they already had and  did so under a model of iteration and continuous learning : “we look for the fastest way to iterate, sell and validate the market premises, we change the way of communicate, also the pricing model for that channel and we adapt the structure of internal support and logistics”.

“The transactions on our website were very small, now it has become a very important business unit. We have sales expectations, technological developments and strengthening processes in this channel”,  Álvaro José Diaz, manager of Muma.

What Muma did, a company with almost 70 years of experience and with a presence in the main Colombian cities and in several Latin American countries, was to quickly activate the processes and tools of the virtual sales channel and, in order to offer a good experience to the end user,  assigned advisors with knowledge of the different products in the portfolio to provide personalized attention to customers , also improved the information on each of these on the website.

Muma’s delivery promise is 48 hours, which is why it was also key to quickly find the best logistics partners to meet this deadline and satisfy the customer’s needs. One of the important decisions they made in this process was to have inventory ready in Bogotá, in addition to their main headquarters in La Estrella, in order to dispatch and greatly improve times both in the capital and in nearby cities.

Technology in your e-commerce

As Álvaro José says,  iteration has been a constant in the operation of his electronic commerce channel , proof of this is that one of the first actions was to adapt a new payment button with more specific functionality, currently they are in the third version of this and although some aspects are missing to be included, it works correctly.

Added to this, he says that they have made some developments to improve the experience and navigation in this channel, for example,  they incorporated the 360º virtual Campus , a space in which, through a graphic representation of a real context, customers can see the different furniture in the portfolio and learn basic information about each one of them.

They also included filters that allow customers to see how a table, chair, or other product would look in their home or office. And they have incorporated other  technological tools to have a detailed control of the  leads  and clients that arrive through the website and platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp ; The latter has become the most widely used because, as they are products that generally need specialized attention, many prefer to receive advice and carry out the purchase process there.

What’s next for Mummy?

Throughout this process, Muma’s manager thinks that the most challenging thing has been “having the right energy to activate a new channel in a traditional company, being willing to learn, iterate, validate hypotheses, correct and change the communication style; of being able to release it, let it work and give it what it needs to have differentiated processes”.

He is aware that they are still in a first stage, that they have some very big internal challenges to continue giving life and greater consistency to this business model. One of these challenges is to continue learning from the final consumer, from their realities, in order to strengthen the virtual channel.

Another challenge is  finding the right mix between the physical and the digital, how to achieve the best integration to give the customer the experience they expect.  “We are apprentices in this world of electronic commerce, we know that daring, experimenting and constantly changing is key,” says Álvaro José.

Muma is an example of how a traditional company, focused on developing products for businesses above all, opted for the sustainability of the brand by transforming and activating its e-commerce channel, which has great potential for the future.



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