American supermarket Kroger announces to partner with Microsoft to deliver a digital retail experience in-store via a retail-as-a-service (RaaS) solution, powered by Microsoft Azure. Through this innovative partnership, Kroger will pilot a connected store experience and together with Microsoft, jointly market a commercial RaaS product to the industry.
“Kroger is building a seamless ecosystem driven by data and technology to provide our customers with personalized food inspiration. “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” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO.
The Kroger Technology team has developed a smart technology system, powered by Microsoft Azure and connected by IoT sensors, to transform two pilot stores located in Monroe, Ohio and Redmond, Washington, respectively, near each company’s headquarters. The pilot stores will leverage RaaS, establishing a way to quickly add innovations to create new customer experiences enable higher levels of personalization through insights and enhance store associate productivity.
“Our partnership brings together Kroger’s world-class expertise in the grocery industry with the power of Azure and Azure AI,” said Satya Nadella, CEO 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.”
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.