NRF 2018: Elektra uses in-store education to encourage Mexican shoppers online

In a session titled ‘Powerhouse playbooks: Lessons from global retail leaders’ at NRF 2018 in New York City, Juan Carlos Garcia, director of global eCommerce & omnichannel at Grupo Elektra, spoke about using brick and mortar stores to try and direct customers online. Elektra is a leading financial services company and specialty retailer in Latin America.

Online shopping has a very small share of retail sales in Mexico. According to Statista, online sales accounted for only 2% of total retail sales in Mexico. The same research projects that by 2019, this will have risen to 2.6%. Garcia predicted that by 2025 online sales may make up to a quarter of all retail sales in Mexico. “It is coming. In a couple of years we won’t be talking about the differences between online and offline shopping,” he said.

“We are using more than 1,800 points of contact with our customers to teach them how to buy online.” Garcia explained how kiosks had been created in their stores, advertising Elektra’s online services and coaching shoppers to go online.

Garcia shared three pieces of advice, which he said have worked well for Elektra:

In October 2017, Amazon launched a cash payment service in Mexico to try and encourage online sales. Mexicans tend to earn their living in paper currency and are often wary of credit card fraud, so Amazon’s move aims to attract new online customers and give existing shoppers an alternative to debit and credit card payments.

“Amazon acquiring Whole Foods is a game-changer,” concluded Garcia, “Things are changing and it will be sooner rather than later.”