How Microsoft is helping big retailers Walmart and Kroger compete with Amazon | RetailTechPodcast

How Microsoft is helping big retailers Walmart and Kroger compete with Amazon

Some of the world's largest retailers staring down the juggernaut that is Amazon are turning to Microsoft to use its cloud services and productivity tools to compete, a trend that was on full display at the company's annual Inspire partner conference in Las Vegas this week. As Amazon continues to expand its retail ambitions, moving further into areas like grocery and building out its physical footprint, some traditional retailers are moving away from Amazon Web Services to the benefit of Microsoft Azure. At Inspire, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addressed the new partnership with Walmart, saying the retailer has good momentum in e-commerce to go with its "Amazing presence in offline" stores. While many online retailers are trying to build out a brick-and-mortar footprint and traditional retailers are trying to catch up to the e-commerce revolution, Walmart is working to "Connect the two worlds for their customers," Nadella said. Microsoft wasn't the only major retailer Nadella called out in his speech. Nadella showed an example of an "Edge smart shelf" that Kroger is working on using Microsoft Azure AI. "You can essentially have a digital interface right at the shelf that can query, ask questions from their phone, find products they are looking for," Nadella said. Brick-and-mortar retailers are being creative with new technologies like artificial intelligence to survive and thrive in this new era, Nadella said. Read more