Building a better Budweiser eCommerce platform

AB InBev found the commerce and supply chain features it needed in VTEX.

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In early August one of the United States’ most legendary brands, Anheuser-Busch InBev, home of Budweiser, announced that VTEX would help power their global marketplace and point-of-sale functionality. 

But what did Budweiser see in VTEX? 

Along with facilitating contactless ordering and delivery in international markets, VTEX has staked a claim to being “the world’s first and only fully-integrated commerce-marketplace-OMS (order management system) solution.” 

Budweiser’s B2B2C needs

“Brands can’t sell alcohol directly to consumers in most countries,” said VTEX Chief Revenue Officer Joseph Lee. “So then you have issues with convenience store retailers and it is an entirely different business model. It is a B2B2C model.” 

VTEX’s microservices-based architecture and developer tools solved several issue for Anheuser-Busch InBev’s convenience store wholesalers in foreign markets:

  • Establishing inventory and pricing visibility;
  • Providing real-time consumer data; and
  • Establishing consumer loyalty programs and redemption promotions.

“The instant value we are bringing to AB InBev is that now they will know their inventory across all channels,” said Lee. “They will know real-time how the consumer is interacting and we can reward them with loyalty points and build real comprehensive consumer experiences, regardless of country.” 

Platform features

The Global Enterprise Agreement between AB InBev and VTEX is a result of several platform advantages AB InBev found with VTEX:

  • Agility with its advanced pricing engine and intelligent search tool;
  • Flexibility in multi-language and multi-site support; and
  • Scalability with the multi-currency platform.

“This is an omnichannel play as we are providing solutions for the online digital experience and the physical store,” said Lee. “We have integrated VTEX with a point-of-sale system to start building a system with loyalty points.” 

VTEX dramatically decreased AB InBev’s time to deploy eCommerce, shortening the time-to-revenue cycle. With lower overhead in personnel and IT expenses, AB InBev has been able to test different business models in foreign markets, including Latin America, its test market for VTEX implementation. 

“As we expand our contactless pickup and delivery in Central and South America, customers are at the heart of everything we do,” said AB InBev Global Head of Engineering France Roy. 

Customers and convenience stores

The enhanced experience goes from customers to convenience stores, as the VTEX platform allows for contactless ordering via online systems that are tethered together and can be combined with convenience store or restaurant platforms, if necessary. 

“At any point in time AB InBev can check and make sure its ordering process is minimizing cost, anywhere around the world,” said Lee. “We take costs out of the system by combining the order management system and eCommerce system.” 

The VTEX platform can also support up to 5,000 individual promotions based on pricing, volume and customer loyalty programs, a natural fit for international commerce, spearheaded by customers and convenience stores. VTEX also has functionality to integrate with the Amazon platform, too. 

With the success in the Latin American markets from the VTEX implementation, the remainder of 2020 and 2021 will focus on deployments in international markets and an overall streamlining of the customer experience and convenience store experience for wholesalers, while lowering fixed costs that have been in place for years. 

“Our goal is to give AB InBev total visibility into their supply chain,” said Lee. “Retrieving data that was unattainable or unmanageable now becomes part of a strategic plan to lower overhead and increase profit margins.”

Contributing authors are invited to create content for MarTech and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the martech community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Rodric Bradford
Rodric J. Bradford was an Editor of MarTech Today and has worked in the marketing technology industry as both a journalist and corporate project manager. Prior to joining MarTech Today Bradford served as Convention and Technology Beat Reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Business Press publication and worked as Technology Reporter for Global Gaming Business, the world’s largest casino publication. In the corporate world Bradford has served as Technology Project Manager for CNA, Cigna, General Dynamics and Philip Morris. Bradford is an alumnus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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