eMAG: “2020 was by far our most productive and creative year where innovation ranked first”
“2020 was by far our most productive and creative year where innovation ranked first. However, even if we launched many projects, we are particularly fund of our donation platform “Donate for the front line” set up together with our partners Mobexpert, Banca Transilvania and Bitdefender right in the middle of the medical crisis,” eMAG representatives told The Diplomat-Bucharest.
What do you think will be the main business drivers for business growth in your company in 2021?
Florin Filote, VP eMAG Marketplace: Ecommerce has seen an unprecedented growth in 2020 with many customers coming for online shopping for the first time and who are here to stay. We expect both new and experienced customers to continue to explore and discover new categories of products and see that online retail is simple, secure and has no barriers.
Since consumers have now discovered the true benefits of online shopping they are expected to increase their spending frequency particularly for those categories of products of high usage that are so necessary for everyday life (i.e. food and drinks or FMCG) and thus we expect to see our premium service Genius get a wider adoption as it spreads across the country.
While we may wish for a return to ‘normal’, we will have to accept a reality in which the physical and virtual coexist in new ways and that we are dealing with a ‘new normal’. Since it will take a while to have a relevant share of the population immune to the disease, most companies are expected to continue to implement work from home policies and schools will very likely continue to work online or in the hybrid scenario. As a result, we expect the sales of electro-IT and collaboration tools meant to facilitate access to information or leisure (gaming) to continue to grow.
Furthermore, as travel plans will continue to be postponed after the first half of the year, consumers are expected to re-allocate a significant share of their budgets to refurbishing their homes or to home & deco.
Consumers will also continue to want fast delivery therefore services such as Tazz by eMAG will continue to accelerate their growth. Also, they will enjoy more and more the benefits of the locker delivery such the flexibility and comfort of being able to take the order at any hour of the day in a simple and rapid manner, therefore we hope the easybox lockers will get more and more space into the cities’ landscapes.
We also expect eMAG Marketplace to attract more and more sellers looking for the benefits of a well-established channel reaching millions of customers everyday thus saving costs and getting rid of the burden of the logistics via our fulfillment program. We truly believe that in eMAG Marketplace there is really room for everyone who wants to grow from social entrepreneurs to larger companies for which we have developed a set of programs and we will continue to do so to assist them to grow: Fulfilment by eMAG (eMAG takes the burden of reception, warehouse, picking, packaging, delivery, customer care or return allowing the seller to focus on growing the business), eMAG Ads (the first application of promoting the products on the platform dedicated to our partners) or training programs such as eMAG Academy. Just at the dawn of 2020 we launched a new program, “I want in the entire Romania- a small help for future big businesses” to support offline retailers who do not have a digital channel yet and though we just a month from its launch the interest is big.
We believe 2021 will be a year of consolidating the trends of the past year, there will be a lot of exciting opportunities and we look forward to sharing further news about our innovation.
eMAG is a company that was already well ahead in the digital space when the pandemic started and what followed only pushed us further to launch projects that may have been postponed for years but found their way out and proved to be what our customers needed in 2020.
Will we assist to a Great Reset-oriented strategy in business or returning to business-as-usual?
Florin Filote, VP eMAG Marketplace: The effects of the pandemic are expected to last, and the changes adopted during the past year will be incorporated by organizations for good, therefore we do not believe there will be a return to ‘business-as-usual’. The past year has produced a major disruption across all businesses and society forcing companies and even the Government to go digital. The great reset has already taken place and we expect the digital adoption to continue, there is no going back.
What is the flag-ship project of 2020 in your company?
Florin Filote, VP eMAG Marketplace: 2020 was by far our most productive and creative year where innovation ranked first. However, even if we launched many projects we are particularly fund of our donation platform “Donate for the front line” set up together with our partners Mobexpert, Banca Transilvania and Bitdefender right in the middle of the medical crisis. To the end of the campaign we managed to engage over 5,700 companies and 75,000 people raising 2.5 mil. EUR. The money raised helped provide the necessary medical equipment such as masks for doctors in hospitals or the police, ventilators or equipment for the National Center for Coordination and Management of Interventions.
It was a tremendous effort for our teams who worked night and day under the coordination of the Department for Emergency Situations (ISU) who informed about the needs, but it was also a sign of hope in a very dark period.
What kind of workspace culture & values is to be consolidated in your company in 2021?
Delia Rotaru, VP People & Organization, eMAG: We see an opportunity in every challenge and that happened last year, when we decided very quickly that over 2,500 of our people will work from home. This confirmed once again that this is our culture: every time we face a new situation, we evaluate it taking into consideration our customers’ and people’s needs, we then make decisions based on data, take responsibility for what we do and we are at the same time in a constant process of learning and improving our skills.
Our new workplace will be a hybrid space where we want our teams to come together for collaboration and brainstorming; we think the individual desk era has come to an end and people can work from wherever they want. We will have a work from home policy for all our employees, with time in the newly arranged offices spent for team work and collaboration, and time spent at home for individual work. We know that a pleasant working atmosphere is crucial for every workplace so we think that having a flexible approach to where we work and redesigning our workplace with this in mind will help our people be happier and more productive.
What is a manager’s role and skills to maintain and enhance a team’s cohesion?
Delia Rotaru, VP People & Organization, eMAG: Good managers understand the power of their teams and lead them to success, they are enablers. A team is as strong as the vision they have and work towards, so a leader’s main ability is to help that team to set that vision and make it inspiring and authentic to them.
What kind of skills and capabilities need to be improved in your company / team in 2021?
Delia Rotaru, VP People & Organization, eMAG: To grow, it is wise to understand that we are not always right and that we don’t always know everything. I think having an open mind and understanding that learning is a lifelong process that never stops is a key thing for people’s growth. We have many skills and capabilities that we address through thousands of training and development hours every year. We believe customer understanding, financial acumen and business knowledge is always crucial for a strong organization.
In term of general business & teams’ core-values, which are your 3 power words for 2021?
Delia Rotaru, VP People & Organization, eMAG: Customer focus, entrepreneurial spirit & continuous learning.