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How IoT tracking in retail supply chains drives ROI 

The return on investment (ROI) story behind internet of things (IoT) tracking in retail supply chains is compelling—especially for shipments with a high inventory value, cold chains, or when on-time delivery is critical. With specialized IoT sensors, retailers can keep tabs on location and other valuable information like temperature, humidity, and vibration. This real-time insight...Read more

3 ways retailers are using AI to innovate instore operations 

Retailers looking to increase customer satisfaction while decreasing costs are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to transform operations. Retailers use AI in the cloud to process large volumes of data to deliver online product recommendations or to optimize demand forecasting. With the advent of AI-optimized hardware and container-packaged analytics applications, retailers are now applying AI at...Read more

Announcing Microsoft Cloud for Retail: Built for what’s next 

2020 was the year in which we experienced disruptive change at a pace and a scale that we could never have imagined. Yet it was also the year in which many retailers embraced digital like never before. Take REI for example, which launched a new virtual outfitting service to help customers assemble bikes, find the...Read more

3 top takeaways from NRF 2021 

This year’s National Retail Federation BIG show was something different—entirely virtual. But it came off quite smoothly, demonstrating how powerful digital transformation can be. It even had some advantages over an in-person event. I was able to see more sessions for one. And without aching feet. Still, even with the more accessible digital format, not...Read more

Revolutionizing the retail supply chain with digital twins 

The business disruption caused by COVID-19 has resulted in four out of five retailers, 82 percent, changing their approach to how they manage their supply chains.1 Digital twin technology is one tool that retailers are adopting to address this issue. Digital twin technology enables retailers to model their supply chains as connected environments. Retailers can...Read more

5 IoT retail trends for 2021 

In 2020 we saw retailers hard hit by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with dozens of retailers—Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penney, and Brooks Brothers to name a few— declaring bankruptcy. During the unprecedented chaos of lockdowns and social distancing, consumers accelerated their shift to online shopping. Retailers like Target and Best Buy saw online sales double while Amazon’s e–commerce sales grew 39 percent.1 Retailers navigated supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19, climate change events, trade tensions, and...Read more

Introducing Microsoft Cloud for Retail 

If 2020 taught us anything, it was that no business is resilient to everything. But those that had laid their digital tracks early were better positioned to recover, and in some cases, even speed ahead. In fact, one retail expert said that we had “witnessed a 10-year evolutionary leap toward digital” in retailing. That’s quite a leap. And as a retail industry, we need to approach the new world we are...Read more

4 ways to make the most of this year’s virtual NRF 

NRF 2021 is going to be a first for all of us. I know I’m going to miss seeing many old colleagues and friends this month. NRF BIG Shows for me are just as much family reunion as they are industry conference. But as we’re all discovering, virtual conferences have some real advantages. And, in...Read more

Holiday 2020: Five consumer habits that are transforming retail 

2020 has already triggered unprecedented agility and innovation from retailers, but the year’s greatest test comes as the holidays approach. Even the most reliable shopping patterns have transformed as consumers keep safety and convenience top of mind. Their holiday plans won’t look the same, but they’re still searching for ways to spread cheer. Now is...Read more

Walgreens: transforming customer experience in the COVID-19 era 

For Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), it’s always been about serving people and communities. Even before the pandemic, this global pharmacy retailer took great pains to be close to the people it serves. Today 80 percent of the population in the US live within five miles of a Walgreens store, while in the UK, over 90...Read more

3 ways to accelerate your ‘buy online, pick up in-store’ evolution 

The retail landscape has changed dramatically as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced store closures and brought about new consumer needs. Both online purchases, as well as requests to pick up purchases in-store (BOPIS), have experienced high growth rates from February 2020 to April 2020. And the Forrester Q1 2020 Omnichannel Panel Survey recently revealed that...Read more