STORY INLINE POST
Q: Apperto has experienced hypergrowth, growing tenfold over the past 12 months. What has been at the root of Apperto’s success during this time?
A: Our growth is linked to our vision to revolutionize commerce in small, underserved cities throughout Latin America, which are accustomed to paying higher prices for products due to numerous inefficiencies throughout national supply chains. This long-ignored and ingrained inspired Apperto vision to become the largest e-commerce platform in Latin America through the sustained offer of good, quality products and services at fair prices.
Apperto’s work has helped build an inspiring, purpose-driven culture that gives our associates a sense of meaningful service. They have been central to the execution of our early-stage strategy to become established in the Mexican market, helping us identify and track micro-trends on the ground.
Q: Apperto has said that it has to adapt its playbook before entering any new market. Has this approach changed since 2020?
A: No, although we do expect this to change in the long-term as localized markets evolve alongside greater internet penetration and digitization. Meanwhile, identifying characteristics common to all small cities remains one of our biggest challenges. Consequently, we adhere strictly to the maturity of local micro-trends, developing and adapting highly specialized value-propositions from market to market. This approach is fundamentally important to Apperto’s success because a model that is considered too advanced will be considered impractical or redundant. The acknowledgement of possible discrepancies serves to build technologies and digital tools that provide real functionality and added-value to these communities. It is this understanding that led to the creation of Apperto’s offline function, an implicit need in rural communities where full internet access and coverage remains uneven. Removing this barrier was important to increase accessibility, encouraging people from these communities to engage with us.
Q: Has Apperto encountered resistance entering new markets or is there a greater appetite for adoption now?
A: Almost 50 percent of Latin America’s population lives in small and medium-sized cities with less than 500,000 inhabitants. These individual markets are growing at an accelerated rate and are expected to eclipse the growth of established urban centers within the next 10 to 15 years, following the expansion of access to financial services, e-commerce and other important indicators. As companies move into these spaces, transparency will be crucial to building and establishing trust with communities that have been largely ignored over the last 50 years.
Companies need to be careful about market disruption. While this may be considered a winning strategy in established market centers, in small and medium-sized economies it is wholly inefficient. Instead, the targeted approach of innovators who wield influence in their communities is considerably more effective at augmenting adoption within their localized economy. While painstakingly challenging for early entrants, once adoption is achieved the level of engagement is amazing.
Q: In a previous interview, you highlighted Mexico has high potential. How has this played out with two years of experience under your belt?
A: Mexico is a highly promising market opportunity given that over 60 percent of its inhabitants live in small to medium sized cities. Mexico has a significant and growing smartphone penetration, a great consumption rate and great GDP per capita, among other indicators. These elements alone are sufficient to indicate that Mexico is ready for a great disruption, specifically among underserved economies that are still forced to rely on vertical inefficiencies that result in higher costs.
Apperto launched at the exact moment when technology and consumer appetite collided to bring us the opportunity needed to take off and flourish. Furthermore, by following micro-trends in areas 10 years behind urban centers, we have the added advantage of leapfrogging challenges. Altogether, while it is difficult to be early entrants, we are well positioned to outperform middle and long-term competitors as they migrate to these emerging markets.
Q: What partnerships is Apperto exploring to support the growth of these localized economies?
A: Apperto has a far-reaching vision and we understand that it cannot be achieved on our own. We are already investing in supply chain, product acquisition, logistics and technology. To avoid overextending ourselves, we are looking to partner with companies in different verticals as needed to offer our clients a more efficient value proposition. One of our immediate priorities involves getting our financial services off the ground, a significant pain point in emerging economies. Presently, less than 10 percent of people in small and medium-sized cities have access to credit and those that do often have to pay excessive interest rates.
Q: What are the next targets in Apperto’s strategic expansion throughout Latin America?
A: While our long-term version is to blanket the Latin American continent, our priority is to fully establish ourselves within the Mexican market before moving onto adjacent markets.
Apperto is a Mexican startup whose mission is to improve people's lives in Latin America's low-tier cities and rural areas.