- Carlos Mario Giraldo, CEO, Grupo Éxito
- Erika Herrero, CEO, Belcorp
- Claudio Muruzabal, Chairman, SAP Latin America and Caribbean; President, SAP EMEA South
- Walter Pimenta, Senior Vice President, Products and Innovation, Mastercard
- Gabriela Frías, CNN en Español (moderator)
Consumers are more demanding than ever: they want their orders to arrive immediately, accurately, and efficently, said retail executives in a COA Symposium panel on how consumer behavior trends are changing. The shutdowns and quarantines have accelerated trends that originally were thought to be five years down the road, said Belcorp CEO Erika Herrero. Ecommerce is up an “astonishing” 35 percent year-over-year, said Mastercard’s Walter Pimenta, which is all the more impressive considering the travel and entertainment cateogry—which usually accounts for one-third of sales—is virtually non-existent. Grupo Éxito’s Carlos Mario Giraldo pointed out how consumers are buying more locally produced goods and “privileging the local economy because they’re sure it will have a very important impact in employment.” He also noted how consumers are visiting fewer stores these days but making higher-ticket purchases when they do. “Whoever comes to a store or comes online is serious about making a very effective purchase.” And SAP Latin America’s Claudio Muruzabal laid out three things companies can do today: Understand the consumer has changed in permanent ways and make sure you have the digital tools to serve them. Second, have a well-aligned manufacturing-to-consumer chain that can be retrofitted in days if not hours. And lastly, don’t forget your employees. “They’ll work in a different way and will define the success of your business,” he said.