The cooperation with METRO Cash & Carry Ukraine started at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018. Excellent references from MAKRO Cash & Carry ČR s.r.o. and METRO Cash & Carry SR s.r.o., for which we have successfully implemented a similar B2B e-shop, were, amongst other things, very beneficial during the negotiations.
After signing the contract, we created a detailed pre-implementation study. A long process was initiated, during which we faced bigger and smaller obstacles and met with new customer needs and requirements. It was particularly difficult to translate an extremely complex business model into e-commerce. We strived to match expectations with reality in order to provide the successful functioning of the e-shop.
Hundreds of pricing options
The biggest challenge in the preparation of the e-shop was the specific ERP system through which Metro manages the entire company – it is diametrically opposed to the tools we are familiar with in the Czech Republic. There are also several other APIs involved, enabling calls, logins, etc. It took us several months to complete the fine tuning of data in order to ensure their correct format and to avoid the occurrence of any manual errors.
Setting up the right pricing in this respect was also very challenging. The price of each product varies on the basis of many parameters, e.g. depending on the type of a customer (a gold, silver or platinum member) and whether the customer has an individual customer price set. The amount of goods purchased by the customer is also relevant. Similarly, various promotional strategies play a role here, including items on offer at special prices and the so-called push offers (a change of price of goods in a certain quantity, for certain clients and only for a certain date and time). In addition, all these settings can be combined with each other in different sequences, creating hundreds of pricing options.
Bonuses for users
A great added value of the e-shop is its user interface, which can be fully customised by the end customer according to their needs, e.g. the customer can only see repeatedly ordered goods if they wish so. Customers can also make notes for each product. These notes can then be duplicated into further displays. The so-called quick order can also be set up. This function allows the generation of shopping lists in XLS or CSV format, including their naming and sorting for easier work of the buyer. Invoice history is also stored from both the e-shop and purchases made by customers in a physical store.
In the future it is planned to extend the e-shop to other Ukrainian regions to cover all Delivery customers of MCC Ukraine. The website will always show only available items depending on the city or delivery area. It will also calculate delivery costs and whether the given address is still within the delivery limit.
The next steps in this extensive project are represented by continuous improvements and automation of the e-shop, including the possibility to plan the delivery of the order according to the requirements of the end customer.
We asked Igor Ganshevsky, Project Manager at Metro Cash & Carry Ukraine Ltd., who was in charge of the e-shop regarding the customer:
• What have you gained from the functioning of the new e-shop and has it met your expectations?
New ecommerce solution means a great deal for METRO and signifies our interest in digital transformation of our business in the coming years. We are satisfied with the level of improvement that we’ve gained compared to our old solution.
• In retrospect, what do you see as the biggest challenge of the project?
Food retails is a very complex business that relies on multiple core systems inside the company. Consolidation of this complex system in a fully functional online presence was the key challenge that we faced.
• Makro e-shop has created a new brand channel in the Czech Republic and is responsible for 1/3 of all sales. Do you think it will be the same in Ukraine?
We believe Ukraine has a great potential in ecommerce. So naturally we expect that site will help us funnel the sales via this channel and give us competitive edge in acquiring new customers. Exact figures will be lear in one year.
• What are your further plans after the successful launch of the e-shop?
We have big plans for expanding ecommerce operation nation-wide as well as further improvement of our web site.8. 1. 2020