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Customers tasting coffee while employee collects data from them

The clock speed in retail is only getting faster and faster. Gone are the days when it was fine to have a three-year implementation plan for new technologies – it’s all about right here right now. Furthermore, Retail CXOs no longer have patience for multi-year transformations, according to a new survey of more than 220 retail CXOs conducted by JDA, Incisiv and Microsoft. Not afraid to invest, they’re now demanding targeted, high-impact strategies that help them address their top transformation challenges:

  1. Balancing short term financial goals against long term transformation goals (48%)
  2. Resistance to change in the organization (41%)

Cloud-based solutions have become the de-facto standard to drive retail business agility, with 78% of retailers already using cloud technologies and 92% expecting to by next year (2020).

Along with our partners, we’re investing to help retailers envision new ways to leverage new technologies to really know their customers, empower their employees, deliver an intelligent supply chain, so they can then truly reimagine the future of their business.

One example is our Microsoft Technology Centers (MTC), where we help customers find the right solutions to bring retail solution to life. MTCs provide the right:

  • People: The MTC staff are experts in Microsoft solutions who can effectively guide your team to rapidly find solutions to your technology challenges
  • Partners: The MTCs have strong alliances with industry leaders who provide comprehensive resources, including hardware, software, and services to explore
  • Place: The MTC provides rich, interactive, and immersive experiences

Recently, we launched a new retail MTC showcase in partnership with Episerver. The demonstration is focused on empowering retailers to know your customers through highly personalized experiences using Connected Analytics. By reaching out to customers in a hyper-personalized way – from a trusted source, in the initial social response, and through the in-store experience – retailers can win the sale and turn shoppers into fans.

 

In my 20+ years in the retail industry, I’ve never witnessed the kind of incredible opportunity that we’re seeing right now at the intersection of retail and technology. And I totally understand why CXOs are eager for transformation efforts that deliver results: the time for action is now. That’s where the amazing Microsoft retail partner ecosystem comes into play, by really accelerating intelligent and bringing solutions to bear that help retailers address their top transformational challenges.

Learn more about Microsoft Technology Centers and contact your Microsoft Account Rep to discuss how an MTC engagement can help drive your digital transformation.