METRO Helps to Provide Retailers with new Possibilities

How METRO supports small and independent retailers with a customized online shop

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36,5 billion € annual turnover
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Based in 35 countries
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>150.000 employees
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~2.000 IT Specialists
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METRO is a leading international specialist in the wholesale and food trading industry – a business sector in which IT rather used to have a support function for the classic B2B wholesale business.

At METRO, however, the use of omnichannel is already a significant part of the corporate strategy. The main focus of METRO-NOM, the wholesaler’s tech-unit, is the digitization of B2B commerce. The overarching objective is to create the right technical conditions for digital transformation.

Customer-centricity for everyone!

METRO primarily serves the following three groups of customers:

  • HoReCa-customers (hotels, restaurants & catering),
  • the SCOs (small companies and offices), and
  • traders (small, independent retailers, for METRO mainly based in Eastern Europe).
Customer_Centric_128 In order to optimize the customer centricity and promote customer loyalty, digital services must adapt to each group of customers, their location and individual needs:

For example, one restaurant might not necessarily pay the same price for flour as another. Depending on factors such as the purchase quantity, customers have an individual price model. However, in order to collect and evaluate such data, it must be possible to map the ongoing personal communication with the customer and a large amount of data in the group's digital tools. METRO itself has the credo of developing their own system components that promise a competitive advantage.

An app as a navigator for the customer

METRO AG focuses on the omnichannel approach in order to make customer purchases as fast and efficient as possible. This is where analog shopping merges with digital components. Using a currently piloted app, customers can be navigated through the very large stationary store to help them quickly find their desired products. The focus is clearly on comfort for the customer.
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Internationalization made easy

As METRO is represented in numerous countries, many different customer requirements come into play. Therefore, METRO is using the API-first approach:
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"We use the Spryker solution as a front-end tool and connect it to our back-end systems via our APIs. The motivation for this cooperation was to amplify our technology, to scale faster and to provide our customers with this diversified range of functions."

- Timo Salzsieder, CIO/CSO at METRO AG and CEO at METRO-NOM
This is why METRO and Spryker teamed up to launch a second shop with a different set of functions that is rather aimed at small retailers, the so-called traders.
"We launched the trader shop as a pilot in Romania – other countries are yet to follow. We chose Spryker as a partner because good scalability of the online shop was very important to us from the very beginning."

- Timo Salzsieder, CIO/CSO at METRO AG and CEO at METRO-NOM
capability_icon_api_128 The trader shops’ concept is based on a standardized back-end. The APIs enable shops to be accessed internationally on a 1:1 ratio and simultaneously allow for adaptations based on local needs. The so-called “Advanced Services” offer a high degree of flexibility. Thus, the API-based back-end makes it possible to be modified if a country’s needs change or in case they do not comply with the Corporate Standard or Advanced Services.

Spryker Glue API connects

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Topics such as new touch points, alternative front-ends, integrations and open developer programs are essential. Spryker offers a REST-API called Glue API, a separate layer of the Spryker Commerce OS that enables data exchange on various systems, especially web services. This is also METRO’s starting point for the configuration of various touch points. It serves as an easily accessible source of information for all international and external stakeholders.

The Spryker Glue API simplifies the implementation of various contact points. These touch points are available in alternative front-ends that use Software Development Kits (SDKs) such as Progressive Web Apps. With the Spryker Glue API, METRO can collect relevant data from individual use cases and  optimize business processes accordingly.

METRO sets new standards in the food wholesale industry

Transforming an analog business model, such as the wholesale industry, model into the digital world is not an easy task. METRO is combining an optimized customer centricity and a technology-oriented approach in order to support the digitization process. Particularly regarding traders, METRO is boosting internationalization using the right technology and is creating new possibilities for retailers for the wholesale of food trade.

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