MZ

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On February 11, 2020, MZ commented on Mercado Libre: a winner in Latin America :

Very clear and articulate description of the digital offering from Mercado Libre! Understanding the different services, with high degree of complementarity, helps realize why Mercado Libre is so successful. The founders could ride the wave of e-Commerce, as they believed in the opportunity well ahead all of possible competitors (e.g. existing offline retailers).
One thing that could be interesting to understand – it looks like the competitive advantage of Mercado Libre connects only to timing (i.e. they were among the first companies to leverage the power of digital in the retail industry). It would be important to define what the long term competitive advantage is (e.g. any tech advantage?) and if/how Mercado Libre could resist vs. new players (e.g. Amazon) which may enter the space.

The three reasons presented are compelling for this case – consumers’ trust (based on the overall Amazon brand), target audience (with a good product fit) and existing infrastructure (leveraging last mile delivery). More specifically, I fully agree that the existing relationship Amazon already has with many consumers can give incentives for people to try the solution. Similarly, the superlative efficiency focus of Amazon is what is required to crack online grocery. While all the reasons above position Amazon to be possibly the best player to disrupt this space, it will be interesting to understand if this space will actually be disrupted. In fact, there are still profitability questions that may not be overcome despite the great digital solutions Amazon is leveraging.

On February 11, 2020, MZ commented on Glossier: Disrupting the Traditional Beauty Industry :

This case is absolutely interesting – specifically, I like how it described the different digital initiatives that were able to lower entry barriers in the space. Re. Digital Community and Digital Content, I agree these are dynamics that helped the brand grow in a very efficient way. One thought that could be interesting to explore in this case – what is the actual balance of inbound/organic digital marketing activities (i.e. the ones above) vs. paid digital marketing activities? In fact, several studies confirm that inbound/organic (free) activities have a very high ROI in the first stages of brand growth. Afterwards, paid activities are required, so it would be interesting to understand if/how they leveraged the opportunities of digital media also in this space.