UK – Belgian multinational drink and brewing company, AB InBev is fast-tracking plans to launch its B2B eCommerce platform, called BEES, in the UK, which will give retail customers more insights and flexibility.

The debut of BEES in the UK, where it owns approximately 17.7 of the market, will be an aftermath of a successful pilot program initiated in 2020 in the Dominican Republic and rollout in over 17 countries.

According to Brian Perkins, president, of Western Europe and chief executive of the Budweiser Brewing Group, the idea behind expanding BEES is to add more digital functionality.

He stated: “Technology is at the heart of AB InBev’s growth strategy, and bringing BEES to the UK is an exciting step in our company’s digital transformation. As a member of the founding team of BEES, I watched the platform grow from day one.”

By harnessing the power of data and technology, we’re building shared prosperity for our business partners and our communities. Already in the top 10 eCommerce marketplaces globally, BEES has the potential to improve productivity for all businesses in our ecosystem.”

Consumer Goods Technology reported that with more than half of AB InBev’s net revenue stemming from digital sales, BEES has not only unlocked new sales opportunities but also contributes a wealth of data for the CPG to leverage throughout the enterprise.

Andrew Murray, AB InBev global VP, revenue and analytics for BEES, explained that the eCommerce platform started really as a sales process and sales order-taking application, but was made more available to enable those other areas of the business to gain efficiency and sales.

Digitizing its route-to-market and using technology to be more efficient had long been a priority for AB InBev, said Murray, but with many initiatives localized in specific countries, investments began to aggregate and become inefficient.

As a result, the company began in 2019 to migrate toward a more consolidated approach that could be scaled beyond the local level.

Selecting the Dominican Republic as a pilot market, the company invested heavily to both leverage previous learnings and develop the potential new BEES model.

It took about nine months to prove a successful case before beginning a fairly aggressive rollout to other markets.

The beverage giant said the platform is set to give users access to a more seamless order experience and communication even as the Budweiser Brewing Group is focusing more on a digital experience for retailers buying from the company.

Business owners including distributors are also able to select products of choice from the platform, place orders, set up deliveries, work with invoices, and more.

The platform is also beefed up to include a marketplace with third-party manufacturers and adding new features like alternative payment methods to transform how the company uses technology to do business.

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