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Microsoft Cloud for Retail

Last month, we posted about how Microsoft has rolled out industry-specific cloud packages, such as Azure Cloud for Manufacturing, that bring together various Microsoft technologies that have been designed to link common data models to connect experiences across the industry.

In this post, we will cover the many benefits of Microsoft Cloud for Retail and how this fully-integrated suite of solutions; Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Microsoft Teams, and Power Platform can be designed to securely support and inform your retail industry needs and mitigate challenges without breaking the budget. Opportunities provided by resources in the cloud help increase consumer demand and open up new avenues to gain a more competitive age and as all things in the digital age, keeps up with it all. Retail businesses can now find a scalable solution to optimize inventory and management, improve sustainability and surpass goals with supply chain visibility, planning optimization, and versatile fulfillment options.

Key Reasons for Choosing Microsoft & Azure Retail solutions

In comparison to traditional retailers, cloud computing and data analytics in the cloud enable retailers to make more data-driven decisions and supplement growth with innovative marketing tactics.

The following are some of the key advantages of picking Azure and the Microsoft suite of products as your retail cloud solution.

a group of happy cartoon customers representing a successful retail cloud solution

Elevate the Experience

One major advantage is in elevating the shopping experience. Through solutions such as Dynamics 365, you can maximize sales by optimizing in-store customer and product signals. These "intelligent stores" are the retail experience of the future. By monitoring trends and patterns across each store's space in real-time, you can generate actionable insights, unique to each space and improve customer engagement and optimize staffing with pre-built AI-powered skills. Imagine being able to predict or adapt to consumer behavior and identify opportunities while problem areas are uncovered before they impact your business. These and many other capabilities can not only streamline your retail operations but build loyalty through a more engaging, real-time customer experience across commerce channels, and exceeding expectations to attract new clients and make the most of marketing tools for your unique audience.

Maximize Your Data

There is no shortage of data in the retail industry and yet, their are businesses who have yet to make the most of how their data and systems of engagement correlate. There is endless value in unifying the customer profile with ecosystems across the entire shopper's journey. Dynamics 365 with Azure Synapse can unlock omnichannel insights with advanced analytics while protecting your revenue from fraud through pattern tracking and monitoring with AI. Finally, there is the additional benefit of balancing marketing media with investment by using informed data solutions such as Microsoft PromoteIQ to increase the lifetime value of the customer with maximum return. 

Empower Your Staff

The front or first-line workers of the world have really shouldered the burden in recent years and that includes retail. Shopping still mostly happens in person as most are never happy with the time-consuming return process with online shopping. This means, your in-store staff are not only the first impression of your business but they play a pivotal role in customer acquisition and retention. Why not invest in capabilities that not only ease the load but invigorate your business and cultivate growth? You can use modern tools such as Microsoft Teams to connect your teams and encourage real-time store collaboration or automate managerial tasks and processes. Microsoft introduced new task targeting, publishing, and reporting features along with new workforce management integrations to streamline shift management and even a new Walkie Talkie feature! Management capabilities include shared device sign-out for Android and workforce management providers to improve onboarding new staff and integration of shared devices with security and scalability in mind.

Sustainable Supply-Chain Management

Visibility of the supply chain, the flexibility of fulfillment, and end-to-end optimization are key to the survival of any business in the retail industry. Through the intelligent capabilities of industry-specific tools from Microsoft, inventory can be optimized with supply and demand analytics to predict or signal future opportunities. Traditional inventory tracking can be very time-intensive, while cloud solutions offer automated inventory management, order placement, and requisition. A real-time, live inventory dashboard across all channels can find the exact location of specified inventory while integrating POS (Point of Sale) and back-office systems no matter the scale. Stock storage capacity can be calculated through machine learning on the platform and automatic stock restoration alerts can be created to prevent loss of revenue or delays by using prescriptive analysis.

a cartoon graphic showing supply chain management using azure retail solutions

To thrive in a highly competitive industry, retailers must extend their outlook to customers and recognition with multiple stores or avenues of commerce while managing efficient supply chains to provide a unique customer experience. Integrating cloud computing services not only reduces IT costs but also simplifies the workflow, improves optimization, and most importantly, the user experience.

Due to the widespread growth of cloud offerings in the last few years, it can't be clear what type of cloud investment is best for your business without consulting a trusted source. At CSW Solutions, we thrive in providing a partnership of transparency and expertise in cloud solutions. You can reach out to us any time to see how our Microsoft Cloud services for Retail can work for you and let us join you on your cloud journey.

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As a Gold-certified Microsoft Partner, you can trust us with your business services. You can start by getting in touch to organize a free consultation to see how we can exceed your software and web service needs!

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Cloud Solutions Provider, eCommerce, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Teams, Gold Certified Microsoft Partner, Cloud Computing, Cloud Services, Cloud Migration, AI, Remote Security, Business Development, Digital Transformation, Small Business, Machine Learning, Cloud Strategy