Microsoft unveils new retail enterprise cloud framework – Chain Store Age

Microsoft is preparing a public preview for its new Microsoft Cloud for Retail platform.

Microsoft Cloud for Retail is designed to let retailers connect experiences across the end-to-end shopper journey, using a set of capabilities that deliver more relevant personalized experiences. The modular platform includes solutions that manage workflows in demand generation, stores and operations, purchase, fulfillment and service, post-purchase, and merchandising and distribution. Following is a brief overview of each solution area.

Demand generation
Microsoft Cloud for Retail demand generation solutions perform tasks including intelligent recommendations and product search, as well as targeted digital marketing and advertising.

Stores and operations
The platform manages activities relating to stores and operations, including real-time analysis of customer movement and product status to maximize sales.

Microsoft Cloud for Retail offers connected tools to drive conversion with on-site advertising, social selling capabilities, and secure payment enablement across all channels. Retailers can enable shoppers to purchase whenever, wherever, and on whatever device they choose, supported with intelligent tools to deliver personalized, intuitive, and relevant shopping experiences. 

In addition, retailers can leverage the platform’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to understand and detect patterns of fraudulent transactions across the omnichannel shopper journey. 

Fulfillment and service
Retailers can utilize Microsoft Cloud for Retail to streamlining operations to make the delivery process as seamless as possible, with integrated customer support to help consumers at any point in the sales cycle. This includes management of BOPIS and curbside pickup operations, as well as consistently engaging customers across online and offline channels.

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Retailers can better understand customer demand signals and cross-channel behavior with intelligent post-purchase analytics that bring together multichannel data in real-time to create a full view of the customer, so they can take relevant actions to increase customer loyalty.

Merchandising and distribution
The intelligent supply chain capabilities of Microsoft Cloud for Retail are designed to ensure channel operations are optimized. Capabilities include real-time, centralized insight into omnichannel inventory data, as well as vendor marketing management.

Microsoft Cloud for Retail will also be supported by additional solutions from the Microsoft partner ecosystem. Public preview begins March 31, 2021.



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