With the excitement of NRF 2020 barely behind us, we are heading to Düsseldorf, the fashion capital of Germany, for the EuroShop Trade Fair, February 16-20. Being at the fair will give EMEA-based retailers a chance to follow-up on conversations started at NRF, and for those who didn’t attend, a chance to see and experience ‘Intelligent Retail’.
A major theme for us is tech intensity and what this means in the context of retail. We believe that it’s not just about what technology retailers want from Microsoft and our partners, but also what capabilities they can build to take their businesses into the future. For retailers, it’s about having a technology partner you trust to make you independent with your own technology. All our investments are deeply rooted in the four priority scenarios our customers have told us they want most from Microsoft. Click on the three scenarios below to see an explanatory video:
Here’s a few examples of how EMEA-based customers and partners are embracing tech intensity and bringing these four scenarios to life.
Know your customer: Deliver unforgettable experiences that make you stand out from the crowd
Retail begins and ends with the customer, and it’s so important that retailers use technology in ways that create new, engaging experiences that keep them coming back time and time again.
H&M Mitte Garten is a brand-new shopping experience in Berlin which was developed by H&M Laboratory in collaboration with Microsoft, AKQA, and Turnpike. The new miniature flagship in the heart of Berlin blends physical and digital shopping with a carefully curated, tech-led and customer-centric shopping experience. Despite its small footprint, customers will find ample inspiration and the complete H&M fashion line on new, digital assortment tables. Beautiful in form and function, the tables use Microsoft Surface Studio 2 to seamlessly integrate digital experiences with the store’s unique design. Also, through an internal app accessible via fashionable connected bracelets, H&M ambassadors will receive the latest styles and trends, advice, or best practices, empowering them to deliver best-in-class service.
UK-based partner dunnhumby, a leader in customer data science, works with leading retailers and consumer-goods companies to use data science to help them deliver better shopping experiences for their customers. And we’re thrilled that, through a global strategic partnership, dunnhumby will move its customer insights products—used by the likes of Tesco, Unilever, Meijer, McDonald’s, and many more—to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
Combining dunnhumby’s tools, such as Shop on Lab, with the Azure cloud platform will allow many more retailers and consumer goods companies to unlock and share insights into their businesses. The processing power of Azure and the machine learning data science of dunnhumby can offer the right insights at the right time, so action can be taken quickly on company performance, new trends and innovation, brand switching, and loyalty.
Empower your employees: Enable your people with the tools to deliver extraordinary customer service
Retail associates are often the first point of contact for customers, so it’s important that they’re armed with the right information and training to provide the best experience possible. The importance of doing so is also underlined in a recent briefing paper from Harvard Business Review, Empowering Firstline Workers to Gain a Competitive Edge, in which 72 percent of retail executives say having a digitally empowered Firstline workforce will become a competitive differentiator in the industry in the future.
The IKEA Kungens Kurva (Stockholm) store’s co-workers work every day “to create a better everyday life for the many people.” By collaborating more closely through Teams, IKEA is able to take care of their customers as well as their co-workers in addition to creating savings in store operations. Teams is empowering IKEA’s community of people to take initiatives, drive the company forward, and live up to the company’s mission.
Global Quality Manager Camila Kuhn at Beiersdorf, the makers of NIVEA, discovered that Beiersdorf’s Office 365 subscription included access to Microsoft Power Apps, a powerful, user-friendly platform for creating no-code mobile solutions. Together with IT developer Fabian Beckdorf they learned how to use Power Apps very quickly and rolled out the QualityOnShelf app. In addition to a photo of the damaged product, QualityOnShelf captures the barcode, GPS location, and store name. The user classifies the defect using a dropdown menu, and the quality data is then transmitted into Power BI for analysis and reporting compressing time spent on quality checks to minutes rather than hours.
Deliver on an intelligent supply chain: Use data to reduce energy consumption, waste, and cost for a more sustainable planet
So much of customer satisfaction rests in ensuring that you have the right products in the right place at the right time, and infusing data-driven intelligence into your supply chain can help make all the difference. Additionally, consumers want to know where their products have been sourced and how they have been produced. We’ve reached a tipping point as far as sustainability is concerned and this was clear to see in conversations I had with retailers from across the globe during NRF 2020. As an industry, we have a huge opportunity to drive change in this area and Microsoft itself is making major investments. We recently committed to becoming carbon negative by 2030, and during NRF we announced the Microsoft retail & consumer goods global sustainability forum, a place for retailers and consumer goods companies to exchange ideas and best practices that will further their sustainability agendas.
France’s third-largest grocer, Intermarché, prides itself on living its motto: “Mieux produire, mieux consommer, mieux manger,” which translates to “to produce, consume, and eat better.” Through a partnership with Microsoft and partners Accenture, SGS, and Transparency-One, the grocer is leveraging data from “farm to fork” to help improve every Intermarché customer’s understanding and ability to measure and control the impact of his or her own consumption.
By implementing Azure Machine Learning and eventually other Azure AI services, Intermarché will be able to personalize offers to shoppers based on their dietary preferences—for example, low-cholesterol diets, gluten-free diets, and more—as well as provide more transparency into the supply chain of its organic products, making healthier, sustainable living affordable and accessible.
Since 1933 Danfoss has delivered solutions within cooling, air conditioning, heating, controlling electric motors, and mobile equipment. Today, Danfoss is in more than 100 countries and sells more than 40,000 products within cooling alone, and more than 1 million of those are connected. Together with Microsoft, Danfoss is bringing a solution to market which will enable food retailers to reduce food loss by up to 40 percent and realize net savings in energy consumption by up to 30 percent. In the past 5 years, Danfoss has already delivered services to over 14.000 supermarkets helping them to globally reduce their energy consumption with 4.960 GWh, the equivalent of more than 2 million tons of CO2—the annual carbon emissions of Malta.
Reimagine retail: Imagine the impossible and then make it happen
Consumer demands are changing, and retailers need to evaluate how they can change, too—from the experiences they create for customers to their core business models—to succeed and compete in today’s industry climate.
Italian furniture maker Natuzzi is known around the world for its innovative designs, attention to detail, and stellar customer service. To transform its white-glove customer service, increase sales conversions, and accelerate the purchase journey, Natuzzi has introduced mixed reality technology from Microsoft into its augmented store—a digital experience where customers can be inspired to design how they live and entertain, and where they can see potential purchases in the context of their own homes, positioning Natuzzi as the first store they want to visit.
Formed in 1947, Dr. Martens has more than 100 stores globally, with ambitious plans for retail and e-commerce growth. Recognizing the need to evolve to suit the needs of the twenty-first-century consumer, the brand embarked on “Project Reboot: Join the Revolution.”
“Dr. Martens consumers are young and tech-savvy, and they expect modern retail experiences,” says Jackie Reid, Program Lead for Project Reboot. “Microsoft Dynamics 365 gives our customers the ability to buy online, return in-store, and leverage Click & Collect, while simultaneously supporting our global colleagues to make smarter and more accurate decisions. To say the change has been significant is an understatement.”
Join us and our many partners at EuroShop!
The Microsoft Retail team will be on hand in Düsseldorf in Hall 06/Booth G24, and we hope to see you there. Be sure to check out PromoteIQ, the latest addition to our family, and a solution that helps retailers like Kroger and brands to take control of their online advertising spend.