American supermarket Kroger is partnering with Microsoft to deliver a digital retail experience in-store via a retail-as-a-service (RaaS) solution, powered by Microsoft Azure. The companies will present the technology at NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show.
According to a recent news story on Microsoft.com, the partnership will pilot a connected store experience in two branches: Monroe, Ohio; and Redmond, Washington. The branches will use the RaaS solution to “quickly add innovations to create new customer experiences, enable higher levels of personalisation through insights and enhance store associate productivity”.
“Kroger is building a seamless ecosystem driven by data and technology to provide our customers with personalised food inspiration,” said Rodney McMullen, chairman and chief executive officer of Kroger. “We are identifying partners through Restock Kroger who will help us reinvent the customer experience and create new profit streams that will also accelerate our core business growth. We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft to redefine grocery retail.”
By using Microsoft Azure to store and process the data generated by Kroger, the digital stores will introduce new shopping experiences with EDGE Shelf (Enhanced Display for Grocery Environment), a shelving system that uses digital displays to indicate prices, promotions and nutritional and dietary information.
The RaaS product is built by a retailer for retailers, to support modern retail experiences and harmonise customers’ digital and physical shopping experiences. It offers retailers capabilities to support key performance indicators and merchandising plans, collect customer insights, enhance employee productivity, better the customer experience and improve personalisation using technology such as the EDGE Shelf.
“Our partnership brings together Kroger’s world-class expertise in the grocery industry with the power of Azure and Azure AI,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Together, we will redefine the shopping experience for millions of customers at both Kroger and other retailers around the world, setting a new standard for innovation in the industry.”
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