Microsoft and Marks and Spencer (M&S) have announced the signing of a ‘strategic partnership’ which will test the integration of Microsoft AI technologies into the retailer’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 develop the retailer’s digital transformation. The announcement forms part of M&S’ drive to become a Digital First business. It follows on from the retailer’s new technology approach which was announced earlier this year.
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.”
Cindy Rose, CEO, Microsoft UK, added: “We firmly believe that AI has the power to amplify human ingenuity. 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.”