Mauricio Izquierdo (C&A Mexico): “Our eStore has allowed us to learn more about the habits of our digital customers” – Marketing 4 Ecommerce
eCommerce has succeeded in significantly changing consumer habits, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic which boosted online purchases due to the confinement imposed by health measures, and this change in consumption habits has occurred in particular in certain sectors such as fashion, in which millions of consumers prefer to search for their clothes and accessories in online stores mainly because of the ease of shopping and user experience in addition to offers. This fact has not gone unnoticed at C&A, an international chain dedicated to fashion and accessories whose online presence in Mexico has been boosted with changes to its website.
To tell us more about these changes, the history of your company and your vision for the future, We interviewed Mauricio Izquierdo, eCommerce Director of C&A Mexico.
Interview with Mauricio Izquierdo, eCommerce Director of C&A Mexico
Tell us a little about yourself, what was your trajectory? How did you manage to become e-commerce director of C&A Mexico?
I studied Industrial and Systems Engineering at UVM, and I have a Masters in International Management from Royal Holloway, University of London, as well as a Masters in Finance from the Autonomous University of Nuevo León, j also have just over 15 years of experience in various industries, and I had the opportunity to lead different eCommerce teams. In them, I learned a lot about executing strategies in the digital domain and they allowed me to promote new ideas through innovation and sustainable growth. As Director of eCommerce, I am responsible for the digital transformation to bring the brand to an omnichannel business model.
Now tell us a bit more about your business. The history of C&A and its evolution towards digitalization.
THAT is a clothing brand founded in 1841 in Sneek, Holland, and which has since stood out for being a positive force with what it does. In 1999 we arrived in Mexico and since then we have focused on designing, developing and marketing accessible fashion in a responsible way, paying particular attention to the needs and styles of the Mexican market. We are currently one of the leading casual fashion brands in our country, and we have 77 branches in the main cities of the country, in addition to an online store which was launched in 2020.
After collaborating on the digital channel with Mercado Libre, we decided create our own eStore to provide an unparalleled browsing experience and continue to reach more and more people in our country. We currently offer a wide variety of payment methods (cash, credit/debit cards, C&A Bradescard and PayPal), phone or chat service and free shipping on purchases over $899 and 30 days for returns totally free.
Has the pandemic boosted your online sales channel? In the same way?
The pandemic has transformed many aspects of our daily lives, and online shopping has been no exception. The most difficult months of confinement coincided with the increase in e-commerce: around 90% from April to June 2020 in our country.
C&A eCommerce got its start in this very difficult time and accelerated many of our digitization plans. There was definitely a learning curve for the brand, but being a global phenomenon that hardly anyone had experienced before, it gave us valuable lessons moving forward.
Beyond its presence on marketplaces, its digital channel has been active for a few years. How has C&A Mexico’s online channel performed so far?
Our eStore has allowed us to learn much more about our digital customers’ habits, the categories and products they love the most, as well as understand their needs throughout the buying journey. Thanks to this, we were able to improve this experience and thus continue to build our omnichannel strategy.
We know you are planning a redesign, what will be the changes on your platform?
More than a redesign, it was about creating a new site meaning a new experience for our customers and for the brand in general. Although we launched our eCommerce in 2020, our customers have evolved and their shopping habits continue to change, also digitally, so we have set ourselves the goal of improving our customers’ shopping experience online and thus to unify it with what they will see this year in physical stores.
In the new cyamoda.com, our customers will be able to:
- Have a better browsing experience.
- View our main campaigns, as well as different product options to compose looks and show what’s new.
- View all products from specific categories by simply clicking on a category.
The benefits of this new experience do not only lie in the navigation and in the way of interacting with the site. Additional innovations include:
- Greater variety of payment methods. Now they can also pay with their C&A Bradescard, as well as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and even virtual wallets such as Paypal. They will also have the option of paying in cash.
- New contact channels such as live chat and call center.
- Free shipping on purchases over $899 and 30 days for totally free returns. We will have more alternatives to make your purchase the best experience!
What are the future plans for growth or improvement of C&A Mexico’s online channel, say, over the next 5 years?
E-commerce is one of the priority areas for business growth. Growth and consolidation in this segment is therefore a priority for C&A. For the moment the priority is to promote this launch in order to achieve sustainable growth in the medium term, and tomorrow, make our online sales a key tool to fulfill our mission: to make fashion accessible in a responsible way.
How do you manage your online marketing strategy? What has worked the most and what has worked less?
The most important is get to know our customers more and more to deliver the best content on the favorite channel at the right time. The more data we have, the more we can turn it into insights and then into better executions and experiences, bringing our brand closer to everyone in the best channel for everyone.
What C&A Mexico title would you like to read in a year?
Without a doubt, “C&A Mexico is the leading omnichannel casual wear brand in our country.”
In general, how do you think the digital world will evolve and more specifically e-commerce in Mexico?
I believe that Mexico will continue to be one of the countries with the highest digital channel growth rate in the world, on the one hand, the digital penetration base was very weak and on the other hand, we saw a huge development of the ecosystem in all its verticals and touching the vast majority of industries. This will continue to encourage a great adaptation of the Mexican consumer to digital channels, but also the increasingly thin line between the digital world and the physical world will continue to disappear, increasingly unifying the customer experience with the brand.
As a brand, we are very clear about this environment and continuing to build our digital strategy is therefore one of the priorities for the years to come.
What is the first social network you open in the day?
iOS or Android?
App or website?
In which eCommerce and how long ago did you make your last online purchase?
Cyamoda.com a while ago
And it was?
T-shirts for everyone at home
Last book read? (worth ebooks)
Think fast and slow / Daniel Kahneman
Recommend a fictional series.
What website have you come across recently that surprised you for the better?
What is your favorite activity that has nothing to do with digital?
Asador & Formula 1 Weekend
Let’s spin a magic chain: which acquaintance of yours (from another company) do you think we should interview? Because?
Francisco Castro (flexible). More than 20 years of expertise in one of the largest footwear brands in the country, he has largely piloted the brand’s transformation projects and its journey towards digitalization.
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