Microsoft has partnered with Canadian food and pharmacy retailer Loblaw to support its digital transformation. The partnership aims to leverage artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data and the cloud to prepare staff for the future.
According to a recent Microsoft article, a third of Canadian customers stop shopping with retailers due to insufficient personalisation. As such, firms like Loblaw are leveraging technology to maintain their strong customer relationships.
As part of its collaboration with Microsoft, Loblaw is implementing the firm’s tech within its PC Optimum loyalty programme to give member customers deals and offers based on their online preferences. Using Microsoft Azure to store and process data, Loblaw redesigned its customer data and build a feature to customise offers at scale.
“We understood the power of what Microsoft was bringing to the market from an AI perspective,” said David Markwell, senior vice president of Technology at Loblaw. “With the data already collected, but separated into different customer experiences, it made sense to move it all to the cloud and to leverage AI tools to drive results. With AI, I see this democratisation of knowledge and ability to make decisions being moved out into the business units.”
Loblaw is also using Microsoft’s open-source cloud solutions to upskill its employees and enhance collaboration between departments.
“It’s really changed the culture and how people work here,” said Jenny McConvey, director of Decision Support at Loblaw. “It’s taking subject matter experts from different areas and bringing them together to work on one project.”
Microsoft has committed to partner with the retailer as they continue to innovate.
“It’s about this constant evolution, constant education and constantly looking for the next problem to solve that I find exciting,” said Markwell. “And it’s really what’s going to propel us forward.”
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