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Marcos Puerreydon, from the E Commerce Institute, on digital sales channels: “Complex problems must be solved in a simple way”
Friday, June 28, 2024 - 18:30
Fuente: Dax Canchari

The co-founder of VTEX also spoke about the growth of digital channels in Peru, the importance of personalizing the customer experience through AI, among other topics.

In the dynamic digital commerce landscape in Latin America, Peru is emerging as a significant player, driven by its rapid integration into mature ecosystems. While Brazil and Mexico - having nearshoring as a strategy - compete fiercely for regional leadership, Peru's rise reflects its solid development in various sectors, especially in digital retail and technological innovation, Marcos Pueyrredon, president of the Ecommerce Institute and co-Founder & Global Executive VP VTEX, explained to AméricaEconomía , within the framework of ECommerce Day Lima 2024.

And the Inca country has penetration rates exceeding double digits in key consumer categories, such as electronics, technology and fashion accessories, with tourism reaching more than 60%. These figures, Pueyrredon continued, underline the robust adoption of digital channels in Peru, a trend that is reflected in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Argentina, where digital sales increasingly surpass traditional methods.

“We are in a context of digital Darwinism, where the companies and organizations that survive and prosper [in the post-pandemic world] are those that best adapt and evolve according to the demands and changes of the digital market,” he noted.

Looking ahead, the challenge lies in maintaining and optimizing these achievements in a profitable and sustainable manner.

“The region is ready to take advantage of future technological advances such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and the imminent 5G revolution [tools and resources that add value],” Pueyrredon added.


Likewise, from his perspective as co-founder of VTEX, a cloud e-commerce platform designed for companies looking for robust online shopping experiences, the executive believes that the biggest challenge is how to get consumers to continue buying more times and more frequently. profitable. Pueyrredon considers that digital channels help achieve this objective and that they can be more efficient than traditional channels, given their sustainability.

“There we must impact the entire business and start talking about models that remodel the value chain towards the client. And digital channels add value to the experience that the customer has on the trip, when it comes to how to resolve or satisfy the demand for a product or service,” said Puerreydon.

Likewise, the Argentine businessman affirms that the most important factor is not whether a business is online or offline , it is about the management of electronic commerce impacting physical stores and thus increasing the efficiency of the relationship between supply and demand. On the other hand, it stands out that VTEX has completed 25 years in the market, positioning itself as one of the few Latin American companies listed on US stock exchanges and that "brings talent and products of Latin American origin."

From this position, VTEX works hand in hand with Tier 1 retailers , direct suppliers to end manufacturers; Tier 2, those that supply components or services to Tier 1, and Tier 3, dedicated to providing basic materials or services to Tier 2. The alliance serves so that these companies can solve the complexities of the integration of digital channels with traditional ones. To do this, an Order Management System (OMS) is formed , which allows physical stores to be digitalized through sales applications or pick up stores .

“You have to solve complex problems in a simple way. We are the engine of Formula 1, which gives you the possibility that any “team” can play in the same league as any company, retail or brand from anywhere in the world. Today Latin America is a manufacturer of that technology, it is a developer of that technology and that shows that it can be a hub or granary of talent and digital products worldwide,” says Puerreydón.

On the other hand, for the co-founder of VTEX, the penetration of digital channels and the hyper-digitization that the pandemic brought with it has caused the profile of the e-commerce consumer to be not unique, but multiple. Under this scenario, the creation of a buyer persona is essential to define the personality and motivations of each potential client.

“In certain cases, the buyer persona will be on TikTok. In other cases, on Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube. Some are going to use marketplaces or pure players such as Mercado Libre, Alibaba or Temu. Others will prefer traditional retailers such as Cencosud, Falabella or Ripley. Some are also going to be hybrids, because let's not forget that the consumer is omnichannel and points of sale form consumption habits,” explains Puerreydón.

But perhaps the biggest current challenge for ecommerce platforms is the implementation of artificial intelligence and machine learning . The president of the Ecommerce Institute is clear about the role that these tools should play in the sector: contributing to conversational commerce or concierge commerce .

“When one talks about this idea, it refers to how I ensure that the seller of physical stores is empowered through digital channels. And it is to give this employee an AI tool to help them improve the customer shopping experience in physical or digital stores. The ideal is that this way, the seller knows if I am a recurring customer, that he knows that I bought the last time,” explains Puerreydón.

For the business owner, the AI should ask questions such as whether the customer wants to pay with their most recent credit card, whether they want their purchase sent to their home, or whether they agree to buy a pair of sneakers that match the jeans they bought last week. . In this way, the customer experience is “hyper-personalized” and monetized with the database.


On the other hand, the rise of digital commerce has brought other challenges that demand deep reflection on how to address them effectively. One of the most complex issues that the Internet has brought to the table is tax, especially the problem of double taxation.

“This situation arises when a customer purchases in one city, such as Trujillo, and the provider of the service or product is in another, such as Lima. Both jurisdictions may want to charge taxes for the same transaction, generating an additional tax burden that affects both consumers and businesses,” Pueyrredon explained.

To address these challenges, one possible solution that has been successfully observed in other parts of the world is self-regulation. This strategy, he continued, recognizes the difficulty of imposing strict controls on global digital trade and instead seeks to encourage economic development through positive incentives.

A prominent example of this practice is the "Day without VAT" in Colombia. During these three days a year, both online and offline sales reach historical records, significantly promoting economic development and growth. This approach shows that, by temporarily reducing the tax burden, entrepreneurs and companies tend to invest more, hire more staff and, in general, develop the local economy, said Marcos Pueyrredon.

According to the executive, in the Peruvian context, the key is not to try to strictly regulate international giants such as Netflix, Disney or super apps that operate without paying local taxes. Although collecting taxes from these entities could generate revenue, “this measure would not have the transformative impact our economy needs.”

“Instead of focusing on this small percentage of the economy, the true potential lies in supporting the 99.6% of local businesses and SMEs that form the backbone of our economy,” he highlighted.

Promoting the use of digital channels among Peruvian entrepreneurs and companies is essential. According to Pueyrredon, we need to think about how local platforms, like Yape, can expand globally and become large-scale competitors, similar to Rappi or Nubank.

Therefore, instead of focusing on how to regulate foreign companies, our efforts should be focused on promoting and empowering local companies, he concluded.


Sergio Herrera Deza
Dax Canchari