UntieNots Scales to Russia with METRO CC

During the last quarter of 2020, alumni company UntieNots entered the Russian market entirely remotely - we sat down with Cedric to talk about how it was done and what he learned:

First and foremost let's begin with what the difference is between what UntieNots delivers compared to other loyalty programs?

By using our solution, customers receive ultra-personalised offers that are 100% designed to fit their shopping behaviours and affinities. Customers can save a lot by reinforcing their loyalty towards the store. Where most promo solutions are limited to 500 variations, our solution builds offers on the fly, this means that  there is no limitation when it comes to personalization. Additionally, our solution is designed to be deeply customer-centric; we want customers to receive offers on products or brands they really like, not brand-centric offers as most initiatives are.

How did you adjust your lead generation/sales approach during COVID?

We didn’t need to change our approach much; the biggest impact of the pandemic have been the restrictions on physical contact. In retail, this meant less in store shopping, and an increase in digital sales, as a result digital promo/loyalty rewards also had a bigger role to play which is the basis of UntieNots’ solution;

It is an efficient way to offer marketing promotions and loyalty rewards to customers without the need for them to go into the store.

Why do you think, MCC Russia decided to go forward with piloting UntieNots’ solution during a crisis (COVID/lockdown)?

Our pilot in Russia was originally supposed to start in March (at the beginning of lockdown). Because of the complete confinement, we decided to postpone it until September. Of course, we are not completely back to a normal situation but we can still measure the impact of our solution by comparing participating customers to similar customers that are not in the pilot. METRO Russia made a strong choice deciding to continue to test our solution: they certainly had many other things to manage during this period but they also did not want to miss out on preparing for the future and testing for an innovative loyalty approach.

What challenges did you have to overcome when piloting virtually in a new market and how did you overcome those?

We are lucky in that respect because our solution is 100% cloud-based therefore, it does not matter where we deploy it; in our home town or on the other side of the world.  When scaling to a new country the biggest challenge for us was more around the culture of the country: understanding the products, the brands, the customer behavior and of course the language! UntieNots is a very international company and we made sure to have a Russian Data-Scientist in the team who could introduce us to the market and facilitate the project.

How can other startups learn from this process to also successfully pilot in the “New Normal”where a majority if not all business is done virtually?

My feeling is that startups have to present their product as part of the solution even more now than before COVID. Retailers and wholesalers  already have a lot on their plate and if we cannot facilitate their everyday life quickly, it is going to be difficult to get their attention. We have needed to move from a nice-to-have to a must-have solution.

What are you looking forward to in this pilot?

The pilot in Russia is the best proof to show the value we can deliver to METRO Group by capturing more loyalty from their customers. The plan is now to roll the solution out to other markets. We are in conversations with other teams to integrate loyalty challenges in other solutions: that could be a great way to further the innovation to different markets.

Stay tuned as UntieNots completes its Pilot in Russia.

You may also like

Apply now