GSA judges commend strong partnership working and an innovative, agile approach to building a bespoke product.
The Global Sourcing Association UK (GSA) has named METRO’s Marketplace Retail Project of the Year for 2021. The B2B e-commerce platform was co-developed by Ciklum and METRO Markets. The new Marketplace platform has crucially enabled METRO to tap into new sales potential amongst the hotel, restaurant, and catering (HoReCa) trade.
The marketplace is a bespoke B2B solution built entirely from scratch by collaborative teams in Kyiv (Ciklum) and Dusseldorf (METRO Markets). The Marketplace online store enables hospitality and restaurant traders to shop for non-food related items for their business. The website offers thousands of products to choose from, some of which are METRO’s own branded products, others are sold by more than 300 vendors.
Online marketplaces are most often associated with the B2C market – Amazon, eBay and Etsy are such go-to platforms for customers, that shopping for a product no longer needs to be prefaced by a Google search. Instead, customers head straight to their preferred online marketplace to look for an item. The marketplace model essentially matches up buyers with vendors using one platform, helping to facilitate sales between the two groups. Customers love them – an online marketplace can offer a buyer the best possible price since the platform encourages open competition between vendors. A buyer on eBay, for example, can review the same type of product from multiple vendors and shop for the best price.
METRO Markets, a subsidiary of a wholesale specialist METRO with more than 700 sites in 26 countries.
As one of the most successful e-commerce models, the marketplace also represents a major opportunity – and one that has been somewhat untapped – for retailers within the B2B trade. It is one of the fastest-growing models of its kind, thanks to easy scalability, guaranteed best prices for the buyer, and huge product variety. Wishing to tap into the enormous opportunity for the B2B trade, METRO approached Ciklum to build a digital marketplace platform.
Built from scratch in 9 months
METRO required a marketplace with outstanding functionality and user experience which could be finalised within a nine-month period, and later be rolled out across Europe.
Working closely with the METRO Markets team in Germany, Ciklum built the Marketplace platform from scratch and on time, with the site going live to trade in September 2019. The first product sold on the Marketplace was shipped on the same day of launch, and the platform has not experienced any incidents or issues since.
Ciklum’s expertise in DevOps, combined with world-class engineering talent and an innovative approach, enabled the project team to deliver the METRO Marketplace faster than other traditional software development processes. This means that retailers – such as METRO – can better serve their customers and compete effectively in the market, as well as save on time and operate flexibly. The tech stack – a combination of complementary services at Ciklum’s disposal used to build and run the Marketplace – allows METRO to deliver code and add it to new and existing functionality several times a day. This means that the platform can be continually reviewed and improved and, optimised for the best customer experience.
The Ciklum team was also able to establish a smart and agile way of working across multiple delivery teams, and it was this strong partnership that particularly impressed the GSA panel. Taking a consultative approach, Ciklum arranged a review of the project brief and team structure, suggesting several ways of solving the challenges that come with a project of such complexity. The delivery of the Marketplace product was rearranged into fifteen agile delivery teams working in Kyiv and Dusseldorf, each taking ownership of their own feature within the overall platform. This creative, collaborative and crucially, agile environment, ensured that the Marketplace went live on time – down to the minute.
Ciklum & METRO Markets entered a phenomenal submission for the Retail Project of the Year category. They showed clear strategy; to create Metro marketplace as a bespoke solution from scratch with a new delivery team, and then demonstrated successful benefits realisation with launching the project in a timely manner, expanding in multiple markets, pleasing their customers and reducing time for production. This was all wrapped in an excellent, strong partnership between Ciklum & METRO Markets, troubleshooting any issues together throughout the project. The judges saw clear evidence of using innovation and good, robust, leading-edge agile nearshore developments in CI/CD practices.Global Sourcing Association, UK
Cultivating positive experiences with the METRO brand
With an ever-expanding range of products, the Marketplace platform establishes METRO as a holistic provider of all manner of goods for the independent restaurant and catering trade. By working with Ciklum to build a unique B2B platform, METRO has been able to tap into a breadth of additional sales potential. As a simple and effective to use platform, providing a one-stop-shop for all the HoReCa trade needs, the Marketplace fosters loyalty to the METRO brand and cultivates further positive experiences for the consumer. Their customers can compare similar products from multiple sellers, and buy everything they need in one shopping basket, rather than conducting multiple sales across a number of stores. The marketplace is the simplest possible shopping solution for the hospitality trade.
Since launch, more than 300 sellers have joined the Marketplace, offering in total more than 500,000 products for the restaurant, hotel and catering trade, and attracting upwards of 13,000 orders
The platform has also been successfully rolled out in Germany and Spain. METRO Marketplace represents a fundamental step towards the future of B2B online commerce with the marketplace model at its heart – allowing vendors to grow and traders in hospitality and catering to thrive. The platform supports METRO’s ambition to become the go-to brand for gastronomy. The marketplace also demonstrates the need for retailers to look beyond the traditional e-commerce business in order to foolproof for the future.
The Global Sourcing Association (GSA) is the industry association and professional body for the global sourcing industry. We are the home of the Global Sourcing Standard, a world-first for the provision of a portfolio of best practice methodologies and accreditation programmes supported by both buyers and suppliers of sourcing.
The GSA is a not-for-profit membership association which serves to share best practice, trends and connections across the globe bringing the global community together in a wholly interactive manner for the first time. Its overriding objective is the ongoing development and dissemination of the standard and supporting portfolio of qualifications in order to improve the benefits and positive reputation, and therefore size, of the global sourcing industry.