Whirlpool shared more insight into its global digital commerce expansion, including how it hopes to more effectively meet today’s shifting consumer behavior through direct-to-consumer sales.
In addition to launching a website in Italy, Whirlpool is also expanding its European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) presence. As part of this, the company extended its decade-plus-long partnership with commerce solution provider VTEX based on their success with Whirlpool’s Brazilian KitchenAid site.
VTEX has since become the appliance company’s platform tech provider for all of its tier-two, emerging markets, and in the next phase of its partnership, Whirlpool is seeking to establish its direct-to-consumer presence.
“Principally in EMEA, the rest of Latin America and in Asia Pacific, direct-to-consumer is really kind of a newer channel in consumer durables, and certainly the appliance market,” Matthew Meier, VP of global technology value streams at Whirlpool Corporation, noted to CGT.
The company has recently gone live with the VTEX platform in a few additional markets in EMEA with good success, said Meier, and it’s getting ready to launch its KitchenAid small appliance program in Singapore, followed by India shortly thereafter.
While Whirlpool doesn’t publicly break out its e-commerce sales, its principal KPIs will be direct-to-consumer conversions on the platform. It also expects to realize some other soft benefits in commonizing on VTEX, such as establishing a global operating model that shares top insights from across the company, as well as incubating and growing markets where the capability is less mature.
“We're really looking to differentiate our products and brands in the e-commerce realm,” said Meier. “Consumers are going to buy products wherever they decide to buy products — whether that's direct-to-consumer with Whirlpool in our brands around the world, or whether it's through the traditional retail channels. It doesn't matter to us, as long as we’re leveraging our digital presence to differentiate our products and services. And that's really the name of the game.”
The agreement will enable VTEX to extend its presence in the global digital commerce segment by using AWS technologies and leveraging AWS’ sales channels to build innovative, customer-centric capabilities for CPG companies.