When it comes to logistics, Brazil’s expanding e-commerce industry doesn’t exactly have all the kinks worked out. Two Brazilian startups – Maxistore and Axado – have come together to address this problem with a specific focus on one main issue: shipping.
Based out of Florianópolis, Axado develops technologies to help users find and hire shipment and freight services to transport goods throughout Brazil. Through the Axado platform, consumers can compare prices and contract shippers for cargo of virtually any shape and size.
Maxistore, on the other hand, is an e-commerce solutions provider that helps retailers get their stores up and running online. Created by MaxiHost in 2009 and officially launched in 2011, Maxistore provides its clients with a wide range of tools, from SEO and e-mail marketing add-ons to, most recently, shipment options.
Now, Maxistore e-commerce retailers have the option of integrating with Axado and installing a shipping comparison app in their virtual stores. This comes as great news to Maxistore’s over 3,500 clients, 94% of which currently use traditional postal services that are quite limited and, at times, unreliable.
“The main challenge faced by Maxistore, and I believe also by Axado, is promoting a change in the culture of sellers so that they understand that postal services aren’t the only way to distribute their orders,” noted Maxistore CEO Eduardo Alberto, “This agreement is also a big step in generating competition between transporters and improving logistic services as well as lowering shipping costs and upping profit margins for retailers.”
Guilherme Reitz, CEO of Axado, gave us his take on the solution.
Emily Stewart: You’re in the business of logistics – something that is often considered one of the biggest barriers to doing business in Brazil. Why and how did you choose to tackle this sector?
Guilherme Reitz: This sector really has many limitations in Brazil. We chose to work in this area because we owned a company with needs in transportation logistics for machinery and equipment. Because we couldn’t find any solutions, we decided to innovate and create our own solution for ourselves and for the market.
ES: How did you reach the partnership with Maxistore? What adaptations and concessions did you have to make?
GR: The Maxistore partnership came as a result of an initiative on our part. When we launched our product, we knew we needed to seek out a company with a platform disseminated to the types of clients we need (small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses). The directors of Maxistore were impressed by our project in our first meeting, and we decided to do a complete integration. To concrete the work in terms of operations, we assigned two programmers to develop the integration. The process took about five days – four for development, and one for final testing.
ES: How have you had to adjust your business and technology for e-commerce? What changes do you still need to make?
GR: Initially, our main focus was to work in comparing freight companies for offline businesses. However, after various demands and requests from clients for an e-commerce solution, we shifted our priorities and adapted our system for e-commerce. We had to adjust some technologies and servers to meet a high number of requests and queries, create the product and negotiate with B2C carriers.
Today, our product gives virtual retailers the opportunity to compare between nine different shipment services, and we guarantee technological quality with Amazon servers – something that doesn’t happen when retailers use the technologies of the transporters or mail services directly (servers that crash frequently).
This partnership comes at a time when Brazil’s e-commerce sector is in desperate need of logistics-related solutions not only in terms of shipments but also with respect to payments as well. E-commerce purchases were up 29% in 2012, and the sector is expected to grow by another 25% in 2013. Related services, such as that offered through this Maxistore-Axado agreement, are going to have to keep up in order to sustain this growth.