January 14, 2021 21:39

Retailers after the pandemic: looking for a point of contact with consumers and integration with tech giants

Retailers after the pandemic: looking for a point of contact with consumers and integration with tech giants

Where is the line between a retailer and technology company? Will classic retailers succeed in winning the battle for a customer against marketplaces and financial services? Should we expect ecosystems to merge? These and other questions were discussed by the participants of the Gaidar Forum 2021 at the expert discussion “Retail versus technology companies - who will win?”

The participants in the discussion were E-COM Director Alexey Aksenov, Chairman of the Management Board, President and DIrector General of PJSC Magnit Jan Dunning, President of Azbuka Vkusa Denis Sologub, Director General of Yandex.Taxi Daniil Shuleiko. The moderator was Mikhail Burmistrov, Director General of INFOLine-Analytics. 

In competition for the consumer, retailers should change the usual philosophy of their business. Companies need to get closer to the environment the customer is thinking about and enter it on a new technological level. Jan Dunning, Chairman of the Management Board, President and Director General of PJSC Magnit, formulated the urgent tasks for his company: “I think we need to move to an ecosystem called the point of contact with the consumer, which means we have to respond better to consumer requests and demands. Together with VTB, we are looking towards this direction. We plan to expand Magnit and offer banking services - we will launch a credit system within a mobile application. We are also developing mobile services with Tele2 in order to understand better what the consumer needs.” 

According to him, in the next few years, the ecosystems that modern retailers are fighting for will only expand. “We have to learn a lot, learn to apply them before we face huge volumes. Retailers need to expand the ecosystem and offer more than they currently offer,” Dunning noted. In addition, the Head of Magnit said that the company is working on the creation of its own super-application, systems of “electronic farmer" and electronic trade in food products, as well as the payment service Magnit Pay.

Director General of Yandex.Taxi Daniil Shuleiko, in turn, noted that over the past year the world has gone rapidly into online consumption. “Any sector that can go online has gone online. But beyond that, we also see that the speed at which people adapt to this kind of service, even after this leap that happened six months ago, is markedly different from what we saw before Whereas previously I was happy to see my grandmother watching videos on YouTube, now, without any help from me, she orders groceries home herself, uses streaming services, and does not watch TV. This is happening everywhere and will continue to happen,” said Shuleiko. 

Denis Sologub, President of Azbuka Vkusa, said that the pandemic prompted retailers to more actively integrate with tech giants, “Our integration with various services, not only Yandex, but Delivery Club, Samokat and others, began to develop naturally in one way or another simply because there is a need for this part of services.” 

Magnit is a partner of the Gaidar Forum – 2021. It is one of the leading retailers in Russia in terms of food trade, number of stores and their geography. At the end of 2020, the company had over 21 thousand retail outlets in 65 regions of Russia. The company is represented in more than 3,800 localities, and its stores are visited by almost 12 million people daily. Along with the sale of goods, the retailer is engaged in the production of food products under its own brands. The company manages several vegetable, grocery and confectionery businesses. Magnit owns one of the largest greenhouse and mushroom complexes in Russia. The company's logistics infrastructure includes 38 distribution centers and about 4,900 vehicles. 


Photographer: Gavriil Grigorov / TASS

The Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World After the Pandemic” will be held on January 14 and 15 at the Presidential Academy. The Forum will traditionally open the annual business agenda of Russia. In 2021, this large-scale event will be held in a hybrid format, both online and offline.

This time, the main discussion track will be social and economic transformations that have occurred in the country and the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The expert discussions will be focused on the national and global development goals and the search for practical solutions to the most urgent challenges of today. The Forum’s participants include ministers from the Russian Government, members of the Federal Assembly, governors of the Russian regions, largest world experts, representatives of foreign states.

The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom PJSC and Gazprombank JSC.

The strategic partners are Russian Railways OJSC, Johnson&Johnson, ACIG Group, Novartis.

The partner of the forum is MasterCard, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)

The discussion partners are Magnit, Pepsi, Huawei, Coca-Cola, AstraZeneca, Takeda, EY.

General media partners: TASS, Business FM, RIA Novosti, RBC. Strategic media partners: Interfax, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Kommersant Publishing House, RIA FederalPress, Invest-Foresight magazine. Main media partners: Anews, News.ru, lenta.ru. International media partners: Russia Today.

Media partners: PRO Business TV channel, AEI PRIME, Polit.ru, Strategy magazine, Public Administration magazine, Ekonomika i Zhizn newspaper, Econs portal, Finam, Bankovskoye Obozreniye magazine, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, Snob media project, Echo of Moscow radio station, Nauchno-Obrazovatelnaya Politika Telegram channel.