Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) is the world’s largest brewer and a leading FMCG company with over 500 brands in 150 countries. AB InBev serves millions of small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) each day and their relationship with these customers is vitally important as they play a key role in their communities and they’re the gateway to their consumers.
AB InBev’s SMB customers were struggling to leverage the power of digital in a rapidly changing world. To better serve them, AB InBev launched BEES, a B2B e-commerce platform to make their lives easier and their businesses more profitable. With BEES, retailers can browse for products, place orders, earn rewards*, schedule deliveries, manage invoices, and access business insights all from one place. Core to the BEES platform is Twilio Segment, which enables the company to leverage behavioral data to create optimal buying experiences. Using Twilio Segment as its customer data platform, BEES can personalize customer interactions and solve customer pain-points across the end-to-end customer journey.
As a result, AB InBev has seen significant growth in its base business, accelerated digital transformation, strengthened customer relationships with millions of retailers around the world and increased overall customer loyalty.
Personalizing the B2B ordering experience
Jason Lambert, SVP Product at BEES, spoke about the potential they saw in the initiative to launch a B2B platform to better fulfill these customer needs. “We saw a huge opportunity to create business transformation enabled by technology. And COVID accelerated that quite a bit. BEES, our next generation e-commerce platform, not only enables ordering but allows us to build digital relationships with SMBs all around the world. We combine best-in-class logistics and sales systems with advanced digital capabilities geared toward helping our customers grow and thrive.”
Twilio Segment is fundamental to the BEES platform. BEES collects over 3 billion data points per month across its web and mobile applications, logistics and inventory software, and delivery and routing tools, and unifies all customer data in Twilio Segment. Then, using Twilio Segment for data collection and unification, the team builds centralized customer profiles to personalize the end-to-end customer journey. Jason explains how this has transformed the business:
“We can approach a Colmado in the Dominican Republic with a certain assortment of products that are now informed not only by their previous transactions, but complemented with behavioral actions taken on the platform as well as various transactions and trends in the broader market. And we can do this for every customer around the world, day in and day out. A lot of what we’re doing couldn’t be done without the use of a CDP.”
Building a best-in-class stack to solve customer pain points
BEES uses Twilio Segment to build and connect a best-in-class stack that solves customer pain points at each stage in the customer journey. Trustworthy behavioral data is collected across BEES digital properties and first-party data sources and sent to Twilio Segment destinations to power a consistent and personalized customer experience. BEES uses the Amplitude integration to optimize the product experience, Braze to message customers throughout the buyer’s journey, and Zendesk to resolve customer issues more effectively.
The powerful combination of best-in-class platforms enables BEES to provide customers with the tools and visibility they need to better manage their inventory at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
For example, BEES uses behavioral and sales data to send personalized reminders and automatic recommendations to help optimize sales and avoid inventory overloads. BEES also uses behavioral data from Twilio Segment to send customers real-time messages and delivery updates via Braze based on actions they’ve taken on the platform. Once a customer places an order through BEES, the system automatically creates a workflow and system ID, and messages users with real-time order and delivery updates. Jason explains how this builds trust and loyalty:
“Our products are vital to our customers’ businesses, and through BEES we’ve empowered them to order the products their consumers love anytime, anywhere. Couple this with real time messaging about when their products will arrive, and what changes have taken place in the process, if any, has deepened our relationship with our customers immensely,” Jason explains.
Accelerated growth and better customer relationships
BEES has enabled AB InBev to accelerate its digital transformation and transform the centuries old FMCG sales model. Twilio Segment enables BEES by ensuring every data source makes it to the necessary destination, allowing BEES to create the next generation e-commerce platform which helps SMBs optimize their business and thrive.
As a result, BEES has seen rapid global adoption and growth across 12 countries, including the US, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, China, South Africa, and Panama.
By the end of 2021’s first half, BEES had:
1.8 million monthly active users
>1.3 million orders per week
Captured $7.5 billion in GMV
Customers spent 55 million minutes / week on BEES
What’s next? BEES plans to continue growing, expanding, and doubling down on digital. The team is preparing for even more global expansion and advanced data strategies. BEES plans to launch a full product ecosystem with a suite of products for all stages of the customer journey.
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