3.5 minutes

At its annual Investor Day conference yesterday, the prominent food-service distributor launched the Sysco Marketplace for selling third-party suppliers’ products. In addition, it said it has generated $450 million in incremental sales through personalization efforts in digital commerce and marketing.

Sysco Corp. has big plans for expanding digital strategies in how it engages B2B customers through marketing and ecommerce.

The food-service distributor, which reported $19.4 billion in sales for its fiscal third quarter ended March 30, said at its annual Investor Day conference yesterday that digital was one of its core strategies in its “recipe for growth.”

The company launched the online Sysco Marketplace, where it will expand its scope of product offerings by forwarding online orders on for drop-shipping by third-party suppliers, and it laid out the details behind its digital personalization program across its Sysco Shop ecommerce platform.

Sysco said the marketplace, built on Mirakl technology, will let customers access “over 15,000 niche products” across such categories as grocery, canned food and dry products to supplement the distributor’s regular offerings.

“Maybe you’re buying from Sysco already, but if you need a heater for your outdoor patio, you can now get that,” said Neil Russell, Sysco’s chief administrative officer.

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VictoriaGutierrez__Sysco

Victoria Gutierrez, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, Sysco Corp.

Victoria Gutierrez, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, said the marketplace product offerings complement Sysco’s digital personalization program, which uses data on customer demand gathered from across Sysco’s sales operations to tailor product offerings and shopping experiences to customers. “One way we’ll be expanding that is by introducing more breadth and depth of products offered online.”

Gutierrez demonstrated how Sysco compiles data on customer purchasing activity and then displays product recommendations tailored to different types of restaurants after they log into their personalized content pages. A high-end steakhouse, for example, will see recommendations different from those offered to a lower-priced hamburger and sandwich cafe.

She added that Sysco is also using its digital data and personalized product displays to engage suppliers in cooperative promotions.

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“This past November, we had a chance to run one of these campaigns with a very key supplier,” she said, without naming the company. “They supplied funding to support discounts specifically for customers [who hadn’t purchase] their products. And they worked with us to activate on a digital merchandising strategy that was coordinated with personalized emails and activation not only with our sales team in the field, but their sales team as well.

Gutierrez noted that that marketing campaign resulted in “doubling” the number of customers buying that supplier’s products through Sysco.

Sysco said its digital personalization program has been operating for about three years and has already generated $450 million in incremental sales. The company adds that it expects the program to produce a 15% compound annual gross rate between 2024 and 2027.

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Guiterrez will give a keynote address on enterprise digital commerce strategy at the EnvisionB2B Forum on Sept. 12 in Chicago.

Paul Demery is a Digital Commerce 360 contributing editor covering B2B digital commerce technology and strategy. [email protected].

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