José Ignacio Soto, Maaji’s manager, believes that in order to be successful with the e-commerce channel, you have to constantly test, experiment and make adjustments. This is how they continue to do it in Maaji, it is something that does not end.
This Colombian brand, created 17 years ago by Manuela Sierra, an administrative engineer with great talent for fashion design, has managed to conquer both the national and international markets with its portfolio of swimwear and beachwear, where it currently has a presence. in countries such as the United States, Spain, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy, among others.
In 2017 Maaji , which also has sportswear, accessories, men’s swim shorts and more recently protective clothing and pajamas in its portfolio, was acquired by the private equity fund L Catterton Asia, which among its partners includes the manufacturer of Louis Vuitton (LVMH). Since then it has had significant growth and was what, to a large extent, led its managers to bet heavily on the virtual sales channel.
During this year, according to their manager José Ignacio Soto, they are gathering the results of the work carried out in this channel, which each time leaves them with more learning.
The e-commerce project began when José Ignacio was technology director. His commitment was to understand the final consumer much better in order to reach them in a more direct and effective way, as well as control the experience they have with the brand, whether in the physical store. or in the virtual channel.
For him, the e-commerce channel has many advantages, among these he highlights: availability all the time, the possibility of adjusting the supply chain according to the demand that is had, being able to test new products more easily, having a centralized inventory , include different means of payment, have control of the relationship with the client … for this reason, he assures, “we wanted to play everything for everything, to be relevant players in this channel, without neglecting the others, guaranteeing the necessary resources for it to grow the way we wanted to grow it.”
rehearse, err, rehearse
If Maaji has learned anything since they opened their e-commerce, a little over two years ago, it is that there is no exact formula that says what works. To get there, it is necessary to experiment over and over again , in fact, thanks to the tests, to look at what gives results, to do A/B testing, to take into account the analytics, is that they found and understood what it is that converts, what makes the user when entering your site click on a category, select a product, add it to the shopping cart and pay for it.
“The user journey is a theme that we constantly iterate on, we believe that the model of success that works is to test over and over again to see where the user encounters friction and by identifying it, being able to break it.”
In addition to this, José Ignacio considers that it is very important to have news on the page, generate content of interest about the products and the history of the brand, have publications in different media that help generate traffic to the page and once they capture it , do experiments all the time.
The pandemic, a challenge for e-commerce
Although during the pandemic Maaji multiplied the sales of its virtual channel, which reached a participation of 35%, its manager acknowledges that operating at this time was very challenging because the chain did not depend only on them and they faced different difficulties, in some cases, for example, they failed to fulfill their promise of service and delivery. “It was the biggest challenge we have ever had, we suffered a lot, especially in the first month and a half, but fortunately we were able to overcome the situation to be able to satisfy the purchasing needs of our customers.”
Por otro lado, a pesar de las restricciones que tienen por estar en zona franca (en Rionegro, Antioquia) garantizan que la experiencia de usuario sea lo más transparente y agradable posible al darle mucha importancia al servicio cliente, en la preventa y en la posventa, que sea ágil y de calidad, así el cliente puede comprar por el sitio web y, si es el caso, hacer el cambio en una tienda física, asegurándose previamente de que el producto que necesita sí está disponible en la tienda.
José Ignacio comparte algunos consejos para aquellas pymes y emprendedores que están pensando habilitar un canal de venta virtual:
Choosing the e-commerce platform according to the size and needs of the business , you should not stay with the one that others have, but with the one that works for you.
Having a good ally in digital advertising is key to ensuring that the traffic generated to the site is of quality, that is, it generates conversions.
Ensuring that logistics works correctly, in addition to focusing on the front (everything the customer sees), it is essential to guarantee everything that happens after the customer makes the purchase ( back ). If you fail a client just once, the chances are that that person will not come back.
Not only focus on the transaction, but also on how it generates value for the user through the content. Keep in mind that in addition to having an attractive product, you have to tell a story and engage the customer.
Try, make mistakes, try again and if something works, try to improve it more and more.