Microsoft and Kroger to challenge Amazon and Whole Foods with futuristic retail technology - GeekWire Geekwire.com - Mon 7 Jan 16:34 GMT
Can Microsoft and Kroger upgrade the grocery experience better than Amazon and Whole Foods can? That’s the unstated subplot in the news this morning that Microsoft and Kroger are testing new…
That’s the unstated subplot in the news this morning that Microsoft and Kroger are testing new technologies to streamline the process of finding and purchasing items in traditional grocery stores.
But beyond that, the companies say they plan to work together to offer technology to other retailers, as well, by combining Kroger’s grocery experience with Microsoft’s roots in the cloud, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella didn’t hold back in explaining their ambitions, saying that the companies “will redefine the shopping experience for millions of customers at both Kroger and other retailers around the world, setting a new standard for innovation in the industry.”
Nadella previously called out Kroger at the company’s annual Inspire partner conference in Las Vegas last year, showing an example of an “edge smart shelf” that Kroger is working on using Microsoft Azure AI.
Among other features, the new smart shelves will allow Kroger to sell digital ad space to consumer packaged goods companies, and the companies say video analytics will allow the shelves to show personalized offers and advertisements based on customer demographics.