Retail

Microsoft AI Tool Lets Retailers Track Shoppers’ Actions

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Microsoft announced that it is launching two new software solutions to give traditional retailers the ability to track customers and improve service.

The two new solutions — Dynamics 365 Connected Store and Dynamics 365 Commerce — were created to help businesses transform the retail experience. Dynamics 365 Connected uses computer vision, cameras and IoT sensors to track customers inside stores and personalize recommendations based on their browsing and buying behavioral data.

“Customer expectations are rising all the time, but people aren’t coming up with these new expectations on their own — it’s brands and businesses that excel at delighting their customers that raise the bar for everyone,” Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president of Business Applications & Global Industry at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post. “Organizations that can adopt AI to manage and analyze data will be better positioned to build powerful relationship with customers over time.”

“Today, we are announcing new capabilities that extend Dynamics 365 Customer Insights beyond B2C scenarios to address complex B2B journeys,” she added. “Now, with the ability to add an organization as a first-class entity, organizations can map leads and contacts to buying groups, accounts and account hierarchies, giving them the ability to build segments and measure the relationship between an account and contact.”

The solutions will be made available this spring for B2C use cases. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the third-largest premium wine company in the U.S., plans to use Dynamics 365 Commerce to transform the shopping experience across physical and digital channels.

And multinational retailer Marks & Spencer is using Connected Store at its flagship location in London, helping it achieve its goal of becoming a “digital-first” retailer. Store managers have reported back that the solution is enabling them to gather a real-time understanding of what is happening within their store, which allows all employees to work more efficiently and provide a more personalized experience for customers.

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