Coles is partnering with global technology leader Microsoft to transform its shopping experience through artificial intelligence (AI).
The strategic partnership will see Coles adopt enterprise data platform Microsoft Azure to deliver a more personalised and data-driven customer experience.
The cloud-based system will provide advanced analytics across the supermarket business and enable the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in its physical stores and throughout the supply chain.
The platform is also expected to ease the workload for staff and boost productivity in the business by removing repetitive manual tasks like stock management and price markdowns.
Coles will also be able to use consumer insights based on deeper data analysis from its research, flybuys and online transactions to drive decision making and tailor the range to meet their needs.
“As a proudly Australian retailer for the past 105 years, Coles has constantly evolved to meet the needs of our customers – from a single general merchandise store in Melbourne to the first supermarkets and now same-day delivery to customers’ kitchen benchtops,” Coles chief information and digital officer Roger Sniezek said.
“This strategic partnership builds on our long-standing relationship with Microsoft and will enable the Smarter Selling pillar of our strategy through efficiency and pace of change. We’re very confident that Microsoft will empower us to achieve more.”
Sniezek said that the Azure cloud will help Coles to simplify its operations and “deliver at pace”.
“Coupled with the innovation lab and full executive support from Microsoft, this is an incredibly broad strategic partnership that demonstrates Coles’ commitment to win together with our team members, suppliers and the communities we serve in our second century.”
Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business said the tech giant is excited to bring its global retail experience to Coles.
“As the retail industry continues to undergo massive transformation, forward thinking companies are exploring how to leverage technology to better serve their customers and employees,” Althoff said.
“Through our partnership, we will support Coles to provide personalised, seamless experiences for shoppers using AI, offer a more productive workplace for team members through modern collaboration tools and help them unlock better business insights through our advanced analytics solutions.”
The retailer will also use Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 to power ColesExpress and the supermarket meat manufacturing businesses through simple and faster processes.
The partnership will also see Microsoft’s Modern Workplace suite of technologies including Office 365 implemented at Coles. The tech giant will provide direct executive support to Coles from its global product functions.