Microsoft and M&S have announced a strategic partnership focused on testing the integration of Microsoft AI technologies into M&S’ customer experience, stores and wider operations.
The partnership will see the two organisations work together to explore how technologies such as artificial intelligence can be utilised within the retail environment to improve customer experience and optimise operations. A team of AI engineers and product personnel from Microsoft will partner with the M&S Retail Labs team to accelerate M&S’ digital transformation.
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As part of this partnership, Microsoft and M&S teams will:
• Test how technologies such as AI can be used within the retail environment to improve customer experience and optimise operations.
• Accelerate M&S’s digital transformation as part of the company’s broader programme to become a Digital First Retailer and bring value to its customers and business.
Regarding the partnership, Cindy Rose, CEO, Microsoft UK said: “The retail sector is one of the most challenging landscapes in the UK right now and we are thrilled to be working with M&S to explore how AI can help such an iconic brand transform the customer experience and improve wider operations.”
The announcement forms part of M&S’ drive to become a digital first business that brings real value to its business and customers under its business-wide transformation programme. The partnership with Microsoft builds on M&S’s new Technology approach which was announced earlier this year.
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Steve Rowe, M&S CEO, said: “M&S is transforming into a digital first retailer, at a time when the sector is undergoing a customer-led revolution. We want to be at the forefront of driving value into the customer experience using the power of technology.”
“Working together with Microsoft to understand the full potential of how technology and artificial intelligence can improve the in-store experience for our customers and the efficiencies of our wider operations could be a game changer for M&S – and for retail.”
“We firmly believe that AI has the power to amplify human ingenuity,” said Rose. “The retail sector is one of the most challenging landscapes in the UK right now and we are thrilled to be working with M&S to explore how AI can help such an iconic brand transform the customer experience and improve wider operations.”