Editor’s Note: Elie Katri, Chief of Staff for Haber Holding, recently had an interview with América Retail to discuss the company's omnichannel transformation and deployment of Aptos Enterprise Order Management. An abridged version of that interview can be found below. The full transcript of the interview in Spanish can be found here. Can you tell us about Haber Holding?
Elie Katri: Haber Holding is a leading company in Mexico that specializes in men's clothing. We manufacture, distribute and sell many of our own and international brands around the Mexican Republic, with stores also in Central America. We have three commercial chains: Men’s Fashion, Robert’s and High Life. We also have another line of business where we manufacture and sell uniforms to companies and departments.
What is your opinion of the omnichannel transformation that retailers in Latin America are experiencing?
Elie Katri: The store is no longer the only channel. We have to provide different options for customers to purchase our products. And that is where omnichannel comes in. Omnichannel involves being able to serve the customer on their terms — to buy products where and how they want, to receive products at home or for pickup at the store, and even to reserve items. We want to offer shoppers different kinds of options and experiences according to their preferences.
When we talk about omnichannel transformation, are we talking about something that is "nice to have" or "an urgent need" among retailers?
Elie Katri: I think it is mandatory. Prior to the pandemic, there were still many people who did not consume digitally; perhaps they had never made a purchase online or did not engage with online ads. However, with the arrival of the pandemic and store closures all around the world, now almost everyone engages online, whether that is looking at prices, researching products, etc. That is why omnichannel is now a "must have." I believe that all retailers and brands that want to survive in the future need to have an omnichannel experience in their business model.
What were the main drivers that led Haber Holding to develop an omnichannel transformation project?
Elie Katri: Years ago, we began to see the breakdown of major brands that were opening a large number of stores but were not complementing these stores with new experiences, leading to a loss in profitability. Seeing this, we began to analyze how Haber Holding could take a different approach to growth that wasn't dependent on having stores in every shopping center, which requires a very large investment. Additionally, in watching the rise of digital marketplaces such as Amazon and Mercado Libre, we realized that the business model of only physical stores was not the right path forward. It was then that we established a strategic omnichannel project and defined the importance of having both a healthy number of physical stores along with a strong digital presence, unifying the customer experience on both fronts.
To those who are considering omnichannel transformation, what do you feel are important considerations for success?
Elie Katri: Omnichannel transformation is a complex issue. It is not only about having the right technology provider, but it also requires a culture change within the organization. This can be complicated. Retailers need to break paradigms of the previous business model and adapt to the new digital age. When getting started, step number one is to have clear objectives, followed by defining a multidisciplinary team that is 100% dedicated to the project and to achieving transformation within the company. I'd also emphasize how important it is to get to know your customer and build the customer journey based on that knowledge. In terms of tools, it is essential to have an order management system (OMS). An OMS should serve as an order orchestrator that connects with your e-commerce platform and your point of sale system.
Your company's digital transformation project has involved the deployment of Aptos Enterprise Order Management. Can you tell us about that?
Elie Katri: It has been a very good project, with great collaboration between the Aptos team and ours. Aptos has extensive experience in the retail market and specifically in the fashion segment, with a large number of clients. Aptos' vast experience with many implementations for various brands has given us a lot of insight as well as ideas on how we can enhance our omnichannel experience. Aptos has become not only our technology provider but also a strategic ally. The project, which was delivered on time, has been a success and achieved the desired objectives. We are now moving forward with the project as we introduce additional omnichannel scenarios. We are very happy with the project and with our relationship with Aptos.
To learn more about Haber Holding's selection of Aptos Enterprise Order Management, click here.