METRO’s best offer for customers is called multichannel

Wholesale stores, delivery, online shop and digital services: METRO takes the multichannel approach. Despite all the diversity, the focus is always on the customer, be it through personal advice or through continuous product range optimisation. The greatest benefit to customers is when they take advantage of the entire multichannel offering. 


What’s it all about?

  • What is behind METRO’s multichannel  strategy?
  • Which channels count as multichannel?
  • What are the advantages of the multichannel strategy for METRO customers?

METRO takes pride in being a strong, reliable partner for its customers. In order to live up to this self-image, METRO pursues a multichannel strategy with unequivocal customer value. But what exactly does that mean? The multichannel concept includes a broad network of modern wholesale stores, the METRO marketplace as an online shop, extensive delivery (Food Service Distribution; FSD  for short) and digital services  for wholesale customers, such as DISH by METRO. Each channel functions on its own, but it is the connection of the individual channels that makes the difference: By linking the channels at every stage, METRO creates a flexible and seamless shopping experience for customers across multiple channels. The customers are primarily from the HoReCa  and Traders  segments. The daily routine of the core customer groups is often marked by a vast amount of work that has to be completed in the shortest amount of time. With its multichannel strategy, METRO supports them by making shopping more efficient and by simplifying processes.

METRO sales force manager Iva Antolović Sošić

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Multichannel focuses on the METRO customer

Although METRO uses the multichannel concept to serve different channels, the focus is always on the customer. To demonstrate how this works, we use the fictitious customer Volker, who runs a bistro. His customer manager visits him regularly and advises him on goods, processes, services and the delivery business. The experienced customer manager, who is part of the METRO Sales Force, understands the challenges of her customers as well as her colleagues, allowing her to communicate  effectively with them to provide quick, straightforward and personal advice. Volker offers a fresh fruit salad in his bistro at summertime. Last week, his customer manager called him and asked him if he needed mango for his fruit salad. She offered him fruit with minor blemishes at a discount. This was not the first time Volker had taken advantage of the ‘GastroDeals’. METRO offers ‘GastroDeals’ to help customers save money by getting fruit and vegetables with small blemishes at a discounted price. At the same time, METRO avoids food waste. But there were also instances when Volker contacted his customer manager, for example, when he walked into the bistro in the morning about a month ago and discovered a defective refrigerator. A replacement was needed – as quickly as possible. Since he actually liked his refrigerator, he wanted to order the same model again from the METRO marketplace. But the model could not be found in the online shop. That’s why he called his customer manager, who savvily recommended a newer model that was similar but would fit his needs even better.

Multichannel at the METRO wholesale store

In the METRO wholesale store, customers benefit from expert advice from the employees: this is where professionals buy from professionals. METRO is adapting the shopping experience to customer needs by increasingly digitalising shopping processes. When Volker shops at the local wholesale store, he uses his METRO app and thus enjoys the benefits of linking two METRO channels: he scans his wholesale store purchases with the app using the ‘Scan & Go’ function, saving him time during checkout. And he finds the invoice for his purchase directly in his app, from where he can transmit it to his accounting department. But METRO is not only increasingly digitalising the shopping experience. The company is also addressing the challenges of today in its wholesale stores. For example, METRO invests in energy-efficient equipment  for its wholesale stores and is thus committed to climate protection. As part of its multichannel strategy,  METRO is also transforming its stores into multichannel fulfilment centres (MFC). Unlike in the past, where METRO delivery service supplied customers exclusively from separate warehouses or depots, it now supplies them from the stores as well. In our example, Volker uses the METRO delivery service once a week. Nevertheless, the METRO wholesale store remains an important purchasing channel for him when he needs products at short notice. 


Expansion of the METRO delivery service through multichannel

Are you wondering why METRO is increasingly using the stores for delivery? This strategic measure is based on the fact that HoReCa customers are increasingly relying on goods delivered to them.  That is why METRO is expanding its delivery business, which currently mainly takes place from FSD depots. The goal is to position the company even more strongly as a reliable supplier that meets its customers’ needs with a wide product range and good availability.

Being supplied by METRO as a supplier that covers different areas has several advantages for Volker. He can choose from a wide range of products and order a wide variety of items from the METRO delivery service in the online shop and in the METRO app. Tuesday is his fixed delivery day. He can place his order until 12 noon the day before. In other words, he places only one order and in turn only receives one delivery and one invoice. This saves time and makes administration much easier. In addition to the in-house delivery service via FSD, various regional and specialised delivery companies are also part of METRO.

High-quality products via the METRO marketplace

Besides food, Volker also needs canteen kitchen appliances, kitchen equipment and tableware. He finds a lot of it in the METRO wholesale store. The METRO Marketplace offers an even wider selection. This is METRO’s B2B online shop. Geared towards professional customers, regular customers can also buy goods online here without a METRO card. Volker orders here because, unlike other online suppliers, he receives a quality guarantee at the METRO marketplace, just as he does at the METRO wholesale store and the FSD delivery service. METRO MARKETS  supplies customers from its own department stores – not only in Germany, but also in other countries, including Spain and Italy. Specialising in non-food products, customers can find grills, cutlery and furniture for their patio, but also food products such as the perfect barbecue sauce for their barbecue event.

FSD at METRO

Bring it here!

Restaurateurs can head to the wholesale store, place an order online or by phone – delivery to their doorstep included.

DISH by METRO represents digitalisation within the multichannel concept

Digitalisation plays a key role within the multichannel strategy. In addition to apps, the METRO marketplace and the digitalised shopping experience, METRO supports restaurateurs with digital tools designed specifically for them under the name DISH by METRO. DISH puts smart digital solutions at the restaurateurs’ fingertips. They can create their own restaurant website in just a few minutes and easily set up online reservations and orders, even directly via Google search. Like many other hospitality businesses, Volker is also increasingly relying on digital tools to manage online orders and table reservations. The cloud-based POS system DISH POS not only makes the service easier. Volker was also able to increase his sales because his guests can (re)order faster.

Customer-oriented assortment and pricing

METRO focuses on customer centricity across all channels. When the focus is on the customer, it is obviously also reflected in the assortment. Constant analyses show which products are in high and low demand. Based on the results, METRO adjusts  the assortment  accordingly in the METRO wholesale store as well as in the METRO marketplace and delivery service. The goal is to make it easier for customers to pick products and provide good oversight by offering a precisely streamlined selection of products. Volker remembers all too well how, on his first visit to the METRO wholesale store, he stood in front of a high shelf with a huge selection of olive oil and spent minutes comparing specifications and prices of the different cooking oils. Today, the shelf is still high and the selection leaves nothing to be desired, but it is much more streamlined.

Apart from serving customer needs, the assortment is also priced to accommodate the budget of the target group. In its continued efforts to offer customers attractive prices, METRO increasingly relies on own brands, which are distinguished by certified quality in both the food  and non-food sectors. With more than 500 products from the METRO assortment, the METRO wholesale store and METRO marketplace offer bulk price savings. Unlike special offers, these products offer permanent discounts, making it easier for customers to plan and budget. And with the METRO delivery service, METRO offers its customers an option tailored to their needs with individual customer prices.

 


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