How METRO uses WhatsApp to boost customer engagement

Customer Story
Discover how Metro increased visibility of their weekly offers and enhanced customer interaction using WhatsApp with the Sinch Engage’s SaaS solution.
METRO hero


Challenge: Boost visibility and delivery of weekly offers within a competitive landscape 

Solution: Implement a WhatsApp newsletter to deliver targeted weekly offers with automated customer identity verification.

Results: Boosted customer loyalty and increased attention to weekly offers  


more subscribers than set target in the first year


retention rate


wholesale stores in Germany


METRO Deutschland





In Germany's food and wholesale landscape, METRO Deutschland GmbH has etched its legacy in stone, with 102 wholesale stores and 11 delivery depots. Around three million customers place their trust in the company's product range and services. 

METRO Germany is part of METRO, a leading international food wholesaler specializing in the needs of hotels, restaurants and caterers (HoReCa) as well as independent retailers (Trader). The more than 17 million METRO customers worldwide benefit from the wholesaler's unique multichannel mix: customers can procure their goods in one of the large-scale stores on site, via delivery (Food Service Distribution, FSD) and on one of the largest B2B eCommerce Marketplaces - all digitally supported and networked. 

Challenge: Reaching all relevant retailers amid digital noise 

Imagine a busy restaurant owner who is also the chef, buys the needed ingredients himself, and takes care of his guests. How should you reach someone who is always on the move? How can you ensure your message stands out in the digital noise? METRO's main target groups are restaurateurs, hotels and caterers as well as kiosks, independent petrol stations and food retailers. These customers are very digitally savvy and heavy smartphone users, but use email less and less.

METRO aimed to achieve two primary objectives: reaching customers with weekly offers and increasing digital touchpoints to deliver relevant digital promotions. To align with customer behavior, METRO decided to test WhatsApp as a digital marketing channel early on. The goal was to present the weekly offers in a format tailored to the target audience, while also ensuring high open and click rates. However, METRO's wholesale nature posed a unique challenge, necessitating that only registered METRO customers receive these messages.

Solution: An integrated WhatsApp solution using the Sinch Engage SaaS Platform for scalable operations 

METRO tackled the challenge of informing customers about current offers by introducing WhatsApp as a new communication channel. To do this METRO chose Sinch Engage’s SaaS solution, which enabled the company to run targeted marketing campaigns and use the automation and chatbot features for conversational marketing initiatives. In Germany, meeting the double opt-in requirement for marketing messages means crafting a compelling advertising strategy to encourage customers to subscribe to the WhatsApp newsletter and get weekly METRO offers right on their lockscreen. METRO used various promotional methods, such as ads in print brochures, personalized QR codes on postcards, and competitions, to boost customer sign-ups to their WhatsApp newsletter offering.

A pivotal advancement for METRO was streamlining the registration and verification process for the WhatsApp newsletter. The support team could opt-in customers directly and use personalized QR codes to instantly verify their identity. In addition, customers could subscribe to the newsletter via a general opt-in by sending a photo of their METRO membership card via WhatsApp, where the customer number was cross-checked using image recognition. These processes were further enhanced by Sinch Engage's automation offering. 

After sign-up, customers received tailored offers in the weekly WhatsApp newsletter based on their interest. During peak times, six different newsletters were distributed, all managed effortlessly through Sinch Engage’s Target Group Configurator. To boost performance, the Metro team optimized their WhatsApp newsletter send-outs by creating a smartphone-friendly weekly offer overview (send as image in a 1:1 WhatsApp message), incorporating customer feedback into the design process. 

Metro Deutschland handset

Results: Engaging more customers week by week with WhatsApp marketing 

The team set up the WhatsApp newsletter in just a few weeks, and within just six months, they saw an impressive fivefold increase in subscribers. With an retention rate of 99.7% (opt-our rate 0.3%), which is pleasingly low for the industry, METRO has proven the added value of the channel for customers. And that's not all: the sweepstake promotions are a great lever for significantly increasing the WhatsApp newsletter sign-ups and boost engagement with customers. With an average engagement rate in the double-digit range, these competitions are really fun and bring customers closer to the brand. They show how METRO scores with innovative customer interaction strategies. 

"It’s about interacting with our customers even when their communication behavior is changing. We have accomplished this with our WhatsApp newsletter via Sinch successfully," says Michael Baumann, Head of Digital Business Development at METRO Germany.   

It’s about interacting with our customers even when their communication behavior is changing. We have accomplished this with our WhatsApp newsletter via Sinch successfully.
Michael Baumann
Head of Digital Business Development at METRO Germany