The National Retail Federation’s annual trade show, NRF 2018, is the largest retail trade show in the US, and I’ll be there next week in New York City with some of our most innovative partners. NRF 2018 is the best place to experience the latest trends in retail, discover how brands of all sizes are approaching digital transformation, and get an early look at the latest retail technologies, innovations, and solutions. Thanks in part to Microsoft Azure, retailers are utilizing data, AI, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to optimize learnings and grow their businesses.
Microsoft understands that data-driven insights are key to a successful digital transformation for intelligent retailers. Leveraging data in smart and strategic ways helps retailers offer differentiated and personalized shopping experiences––and much more. Armed with the right data and solutions, retailers are transforming their online and brick-and-mortar offerings.
Here are the three Microsoft retail partners who will showcase their Azure-based solutions at NRF 2018:
Bunsar is based in Istanbul, Turkey, and created an Azure-based app that uses AI for visual search and product matching. The product is a real-time “recommendations mirror” that brick-and-mortar stores can use to draw foot traffic. The technology identifies the outfit you’re wearing, matches it to similar outfit options in its database, and makes recommendations for matching accessories and clothing. The Turkish equivalent of Macy’s, Boyner Group, has an affiliate application called Hopi that is now tapping into Bunsar’s platform.
Software developer Xenia Retail designed a seamless retail experience that eliminates shopping carts and check out lines. Shoppers use an app on their phone or on a tablet provided by the retailer. The app gives them tools and data that a sales associate would normally have, including crowd-sourced reviews, buying history, and suggestions for additional items. Shoppers simply hold the phone in front of the product, select the quantity, add it to their cart, and complete the purchase in the app or at a self-checkout terminal. There’s no scanning required, and employees in the back room fulfill the order. Xenia is based on Windows and runs on Azure. The company is integrating Power BI, Dynamics 365 and Outlook into its offerings.
Aprimo provides marketing operations and digital asset management technology to brands such as CVS, Pandora, IKEA, DICK’S Sporting Goods, and Samsonite. A major home-improvement retailer has also adopted Aprimo’s Azure-based solution to improve brand consistency and provide a single source for content. Role-based permissions control access to content, and users get advanced enterprise search to quickly find and reuse content.
Visit Microsoft and our partners at booth #2803 to gain inspiration, experience how retail is changing, and find out how we are collectively helping retail businesses transform to exceed customer expectations. I’ll also be speaking about Digital Leadership in Retail, joined by customers Luxottica and the Schwarz Gruppe on Monday, January 15 from 11:30 AM–12:30 PM. I look forward to seeing you there and exploring the exciting technology innovations that are powering the retail industry.
Join the conversation at the Microsoft Partner Community here.