IBM iX and METRO have received two honours at this year’s Best Retail Cases Award. The innovative MarTech project in cooperation with client METRO.digital was awarded first prize by the competition’s jury and received the highest number of votes from users. The awards ceremony was held at the Chocolate Factory Cologne on 19 September as part of POS Connect 2023.
The pioneering project between IBM iX and METRO replaces the previous manual system for selecting services and turns the fragmented wholesaler customer journey into a fully automated, customised campaign management solution with real-time data management. The project kicked off with an inception stage in July 2022, during which various requirements, demands and solutions were identified. These efforts paved the way for the transformative MarTech strategy to be launched via 17 use cases in all 30 countries where METRO is active. A combination of digital solutions, the evolution into a data-driven organisation and a hyper-personalised brand experience is the basis on which METRO is set to become a technology pioneer for customer experience.
IBM iX provides support by ensuring the solutions can be implemented from a technical perspective and helping to transform METRO into a data-driven organisation. Key elements of this partnership include advising on the transformation processes, offering targeted training, and overseeing the commercial launch of the various use cases. The aim of the transformation process is for the global marketing platform to consolidate all customer data collected by the company as a whole in real time, thereby creating a consistent customer experience across all channels.
“METRO and METRO.digital are poised to become the industry leaders for wholesale within the next few years. The traditional B2B structure is evolving into B2P, or ‘business to person’”, announced Ajay Vageeswaran, Chief Sales Officer at IBM iX.
Presented periodically since 2020, this award is intended to highlight the top solutions collected in the Best Retail Cases database. The focus of this initiative is on innovative solutions currently being used by manufacturers and distributors. The winning projects are chosen by an expert jury and the actual users of the solutions. The jury is made up of 18 experienced media representatives, while the user voting round can include the votes of up to 6,500 retailers.
A leading international food wholesaler, METRO serves more than 17 million customers around the world through its 93,000+ workforce. The company made EUR 29.8 billion in sales during the 2021/2022 financial year. METRO tailors its services in particular towards meeting the requirements of hotels, restaurants, and catering firms, along with independent retailers and distributors. The digitally-driven multi-channel strategy enables these customers to buy directly from wholesalers – whether through METRO’s stores or delivery. The company’s online marketplace for professional customers, METRO MARKETS, has been up and running since 2019. Meanwhile, METRO.digital designs custom IT products and services to help digitalize the wholesale business on METRO’s behalf.
As is evident from the praise offered by both the jury and the retailers, the future of the wholesale business lies in fully integrated MarTech solutions. Following the inception phase and the implementation of the first use cases, the project partnership between IBM iX and METRO.digital has evolved yet again: the focus now is on integrating the marketing and e-commerce tools into a centralised data strategy.
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