As the push to explore the potential of artificial intelligence technologies continues, partnerships between companies seem to be inevitable.
In such a move, Microsoft and Mark & Spencer recently revealed the signing of a strategic collaboration aimed at testing and investigating the incorporation of the software giant’s artificial intelligence technologies into the retailer’s wider operations, stores and even customer experience.
The partnership, which is geared towards testing and investigating the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in a retail space, will see both companies work hand in hand to better understand the impact of such technology on retail operations and customer experience.
As such, a world-class team of product personnel and artificial intelligence experts drawn from Microsoft will work together with a team from Mark & Spencer Retail in a move to expedite the retailer’s transformation into the digital space.
The partnership announcement makes up a considerable part of M&S’s push to become a digital-first enterprise. The retailer intends to become a business that delivers real value to both its customers and enterprise under its digital transformation plan. The collaboration with Microsoft helps to build on Mark & Spencer’s new technology method that it unveiled earlier this year.
Steve Rowe, the chief executive officer of Mark & Spencer, acknowledged the fact that M&S is turning into a digital-first retailer, particular during a time when the retail space is going through a revolution led by customers. For this reason, he looks forward to leading the company to deliver value into customer experience through harnessing the capabilities of technology.
By partnering with Microsoft, will help Mark & Spencer understand the full potential of how artificial intelligence and technology can boost its in-store customer experience as well as the efficiencies of its broader operations, which could prove to be a breakthrough not only for M&S but also the retail space.
Even so, this joint effort was announced several days after the previous digital boss for Mark & Spencer, Mark East, cited that the department store ought to be aiming to reach the likes of Amazon, a notable retailer that is setting the pace in the digital space.
According to Cindy Rose, the chief executive of Microsoft UK, Microsoft strongly believes that artificial intelligence has the potential to enhance human ingenuity.
She added that the retail space currently makes up one of the most challenging sectors in the United Kingdom. However, Cindy emphasized that Microsoft is excited to work with Mark &Spencer, particularly in exploring how artificial intelligence (AI) can assist such a reputable brand in transforming its customer experience and boosting wider operations.
Mark & Spencer’s five-year transformation plan was initially unveiled back in 2017. Other aspects of the plan include an acceleration of the United Kingdom store estate closure programme, the appointment of two new non-executive directors of the board, a new leadership team in charge of revamping the home and clothing division, a slowdown in the Simply Food store launching programme, as well as the restructuring of its customer , marketing and digital team.