Microsoft launches Cloud for Retail for retailers around the world

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Microsoft announced on January 31 its Microsoft Cloud for Retail solution, which offers the retail sector the technology to “help them connect with their customers, their people and their data in a flexible and clever way, deploying a total set of specialized capabilities for the point selling”.

Digital capability building is the new currency that drives the resilience and growth of every retailer; not just for this pandemic, but for future events and years to come. That’s why digital co-innovation is a massive focus for Microsoft, we want our customers to build their own digital capability and become independent with us, not dependent on us. That’s why Microsoft Cloud for Retail helps extend businesses’ capabilities with extra solutions that address their most pressing challenges ,” said Shelley Bransten, Corporate Vice President of WW Retail & Consumer Goods Industry for Microsoft.

Microsoft Cloud for Retail will be available starting February 1st. According to the company, it will allow:

Maximize the value of data by unifying disparate information sources throughout the purchase cycle and, in this way, find information that allows developing better experiences for consumers. Retail generates approximately 40 petabytes of data every hour, yet in most cases systems and data are siled and disconnected, so a centralized setup would allow businesses to harness the information it produces, stores, and transmits. .

Microsoft Cloud for Retail uses data models that harmonize multiple systems and applications by unifying disparate data sources to set up a unique and detailed profile of each shopper. Capabilities here include unified customer profiling, shopper and operational analytics, clever fraud protection, and retail media.

Elevate the shopping experience through data analysis and new technology to encourage long-term customer loyalty, offering value experiences by placing personalization as a key factor. According to McKinsey, while 95% of retail CEOs say they strategically prioritize personalization, only 23% of consumers think they are doing a good job.

With personalization at the heart of satisfying shopping experiences, Microsoft Cloud for Retail drives conversion by enabling tailored search results and recommendations. Capabilities here include real-time personalization, smart stores, unified commerce, digital advertising solutions, and seamless customer service.

Build a sustainable supply chain in real time by connecting data across the ecosystem, allowing problems to be identified and business performance to be optimized. In numerous ways, 2021 was the year of the supply chain, or “supply pain” as it became known, as figures from McKinsey show that during the fall of 2021, more than 60% of consumers faced lack out of stock and only 13% of them waited for the item to be back in inventory, meaning numerous retailers are not only losing sales, but facing reduced customer loyalty.

Supply chain transformation must begin with the recognition that a retailer’s data is a valuable asset. Although retailers have a treasure trove of data from across their supply chain, many are unable to take full virtue of it. With Microsoft Cloud for Retail, retailers can better predict demand by using AI to optimize inventory and streamline order management to offer customers choice across channels. In addition, Microsoft helps retailers track, report, and reduce things like carbon emissions in their efforts to be more sustainable , including supply chain visibility, demand planning and optimization, and flexible fulfillment.

Empower the store associate. Equip store associates with solutions that enable real-time store communications, workforce management, and automation. Retail has always been and always will be a people business, with numerous frontline employees who are more important than ever today. Survey results from Microsoft ‘s recent Job Trends Index show that 60% of frontline workers are excited about the new opportunities digital tools bring to retail, but 34% feel they don’t have the technology yet. adequate.

For example, industry-specific solutions like Microsoft Cloud for Retail can display inventory and supply chain data on mobile devices so a collaborator can quickly see the availability of an out-of-stock product and arrange for it to be shipped to the customer, Leveraging communication and collaboration capabilities to amplify customer satisfaction.

Leveraging innovations in data analytics and automation, Microsoft Cloud for Retail offers an intelligent digitalization path for points of sale and the supply chain in general, integrating seamlessly with the daily operation of this sector.

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