In recent news, Microsoft and Albertsons are teaming in able to create a shopping experience for customers that is “frictionless”. Albertsons, who is the second largest grocery chain in the U.S. teams up with the software giant in order compete with Amazon. In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Food as they are planning turn some of their focus to grocery and plan to open many Amazon Go stores around the country.
With this deal, Albertsons will have Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure in stores. Anuj Dhanda, the CIO and executive vice president of Albertsons Companies says this deal will the company to “transform the customer experience in our stores and digitally,” using “cognitive technologies, artificial intelligence and data science applied at scale.”
Microsoft’s goal in all of this is apparently to “eliminate the friction customers experience at the grocery store,” by making it easier for customers to find what they want and decrease wait times. This will also be able to assist employees to keep up with inventory and determine when the possible time to stock up sooner.
It has been quite some time that Albertsons has been interested in improving how they work with technology. The company has recently done well as they say their eCommerce platform uses Microsoft Azure and uses a one touch app at gas stations last that allows drivers to use their mobile device to pump and pay for gas. Currently the Microsoft Azure technology is being used in about 27 stores and will continue to expand the technology to more stores as the year continues. According to Microsoft, Albertsons will look to improve on logistics and supply chain through the use of data science.
Microsoft has taken a step into retail and grocery marketplace in recent times as they worked with Walmart last July to bring Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure to the massive chain. It also teamed up with Kroger in January to create high tech stores in Washington and Ohio that uses apps and digital signs that make the shopping experience easier.