The Future of Retail

In today’s hyper-connected world, the way we shop is changing.

The Future of Retail

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Last year, European e-commerce turnover increased by 15 percent, to €530 billion, and consumers’ expectations have evolved beyond the simple convenience that online shopping offers.

Today’s successful retailers challenge the fundamental assumptions of commerce, from the ways in which physical spaces can be used to create unique customer experiences, to featuring products and services that one cannot find elsewhere to resurrecting the art of selling.

The digital transformation of the retail (and indeed, any other) industry is no longer about simply managing costs and increasing efficiency. Rather, it enables companies to react to brutally competitive market forces with new service models, business practices, supply chains and more.

At the heart of this retail revolution lies data, alongside the tools required to analyze it to help businesses continuously evolve, improve, and grow – all while creating and maintaining customer loyalty, and remaining competitive.

With 80 percent of business leaders believing that their industry will be disrupted by technology – and with 84 percent believing said disruption to be imminent – there has never been a more important time to embrace the potential that technology can bring. There is a huge case for digital reinvention.

Microsoft wants to be a partner to businesses on their transformation journey who seek to understand and identify where and how to use the digital applications and functionality to their and their customers benefits. Below, you’ll find a list of resources specifically focused on the use of technology in the retail industry:

Trends that are shaping the future of retail
Microsoft’s event in its Milan-based headquarters saw experts and influencers discuss the future of the retail industry, and the role that technology plays in it, showcasing how the power of transformation can help retail business evolve, thrive, and grow.

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A trip to the supermarket of the future
In the Supermarket of the Future, sensors, robots, interactive screens and apps will help you learn more about the products you’re buying, and help you in finding just the right ones for you. Fantasy? Not quite. It’s already been created.

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Thoughts on the need for a data strategy
Whether we are “the best!”, “the freshest” or “the fastest” in satisfying customers, if we’re not serious about data, we may not stay in business. Mega trends are converging as we speak – not doing anything isn’t an option, says Nina Lund, Consumer Goods & Retail Industry Lead, Microsoft EMEA

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Show and sell: where next for the humble shop?
Sergio Romoli, Industry Lead, Retail and CPG, Western Europe at Microsoft reflects on how retail is evolving, as he heads to the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York.

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The digital transformation of the retail industry
The way we shop is changing rapidly, and the role of the retailer has changed forever. Technology has disrupted traditional business models. To succeed, retailers must create differentiated and personalized experiences that span our real and digital lives.

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Reflections on Digital Transformation in Europe
Nina Lund believes that we need to transform European retailers. It’s clear that companies that connect faster, better and transparently with their inner geniuses will survive. What’s an inner genius? It’s that creative child that we all need to find again.

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AI for businesses: Not IF, but WHEN and HOW
Technology helps businesses become more competitive and relevant, and AI is at the key. Why? It has the potential to fundamentally change many sectors, such as retail, where technology like bots are completely redefining customer experiences – by Michel van der Bel, President, Microsoft EMEA.

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NRF (day 2)… Faith in provenance
Awareness around issues such as the environment, harmful manufacturing processes, counterfeit goods, human trafficking and more, have seen a rise in ‘conscious consumption’, says Sergio Romoli.

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