Al-Futtaim credits IBM Consulting for enhanced Blue Rewards program

28 February 2024 2 min. read

Al-Futtaim Group’s Blue Rewards program has off late enjoyed strong growth in its customer base and user experience, with much of that growth credited to work done in conjunction with IBM Consulting.

With brands across industries such as shopping malls, hotels, cinema, hypermarket and more, Al-Futtaim Group is one of the Middle East’s largest consumer-facing companies.

The company’s loyalty rewards program, Blue, enables consumers to shop across various brands, including Ace, Marks & Spencer, Toys R Us, Ted Baker, and many more, rewarding their shopping experience through discounts, loyalty benefits, privileges, access to events, games and more.

Al-Futtaim credits IBM Consulting for enhanced Blue Rewards program

Today, the Blue Rewards platform has over 3 million users, of which 400,000 are monthly active users. That number of users and engagement used to be a lot lower, however.

With the aim to ramp up the performance and returns from its Blue Rewards platform, Al-Futtaim Group last year launched a major upgrade program. Longtime consulting and technology partner IBM Consulting was flown in to support the delivery.

“We implemented a redesign of the Blue Rewards digital platform which included the user experience, technology stack, and business teams,” said Bill Farrell, Managing Partner for the Middle East and Africa at IBM Consulting.

At the customer experience side, the consultants helped redesign processes with the demands of customers at the core. The effect has been momentous, state Al-Futtaim Group and IBM Consulting in a joint release. “The refurbished Blue Rewards platform now is able to anticipate user needs and preferences, generate personalized rewards and offers seamless alignment across nine diverse markets.”

Underpinning the transformation was a technology re-jig and data transformation.

Leveraging its expertise and partnerships with Microsoft and SAP, IBM Consulting implemented a modern digital core, unifying data from diverse sectors like automotive, retail, real estate, and finance. This involved an upgrade to SAP S/4HANA and the shift of activities to Microsoft’s cloud (Azure).

Alongside a better customer experience, benefits of the transformation include cost efficiency, agility, an enhanced environmental sustainability footprint, and a more mature data bedrock which in turn will drive future AI-driven improvements.

“The streamlined data foundation empowers Al Futtaim Group with improved transparency, informed decision-making, and a strong foundation for future revenue growth,” said Farrell.

Al-Futtaim Group and IBM Consulting continue to work on continuous enhancement initiatives for the Blue Rewards program.

Commenting on the collaboration, Himanshu Shrivastava, Chief Technology Officer of Al-Futtaim Group, said: “We are excited to collaborate with IBM Consulting as we embark in our digital transformation journey to unlock new possibilities and ensure our digital future is defined by excellence and customer centricity. Together, we are poised to reshape the landscape of Al-Futtaim Group’s digital operations, enriching the overall customer experience.”