Microsoft is partnering with Albertsons, the second largest grocery store chain in the United States, to create a "frictionless" customer experience inside their stores. As part of the deal, Microsoft will use their Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure services to apply data science, AI, and cognitive technologies to transform the shopping experience both in store and online. The partnership comes as Amazon is becoming increasingly more focused on the physical retail business with reports that it is planning to open several thousand Amazon Go stores in the United States by 2021.
According to Microsoft, the two companies will work together to create this frictionless customer experience by helping employees track store inventory and restocking needs while also reducing waiting times and making it easier to find items. They will also work together to improve Albertsons' logistics and supply chain using data science.
The two companies have already had two successful results from their partnership - Albertsons' eCommence platform and gas station app that allows customers to pay for gas using their phones both run on Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft also partnered with retail giant Walmart, last July, and and Kroger this January. Microsoft will be helping Kroger build high-tech grocery stores and bringing Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure to Walmart over the next 5 years.
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