The digital transformation in the retail sector has become even more important in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the use of the technology on a previously unknown scale. Purchasing preferences have changed and omnichannel sales became a common solution increasing the level of customer satisfaction and significantly reducing the duration of sales processes. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce, successfully implemented by Sii Polska experts is one of the modern tools supporting intelligent retail trade.
Pandemic buyers – who are they?
Understanding the changes in the retail sector requires asking a question how does the profile of the new buyer look like? The modern shopper is a person who is expecting efficient and effective service – both in a stationary store and on an online platform, wants to be able to choose not only the method of purchase, but also the method of payment, delivery and return best suiting current situation, and is open to a personalization of the shopping experience – dedicated promotions, discounts based on previous purchases, a loyalty program offering attractive offers tailored to the needs as new ways of building a lasting customer-brand relationship. And how to meet all these expectations?
New quality of sales service
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce is Microsoft’s response to challenges emerging in the retail area. This product belongs to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ecosystem consisting of many elements. The possibility of combining and integrating them gives unprecedented possibilities in the area of sales management.
When designing e-commerce solutions for our clients, we always look for a way to offer the most centralized solution, delivering easy and intuitive management of sales processes. As a Microsoft Gold Partner and a software company with 15 years of experience, we are able to advise precisely which solutions from the rich Microsoft Dynamics 365 portfolio will improve sales results, optimize operating costs and improve the quality of internal processes. For those interested in the development of omnichannel sales, we offer a comprehensive implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce module, which allows creating unified commercial opportunities in all channels – says Adrian Gola, Head of Industry at Sii Polska.
And what does this unification mean in practice? Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce integrates all sales channels and environments on one platform. Yes, all of them! We are not just talking about a combination of a stationery store and an online store. We are talking about connecting all stationary stores and warehouses with an e-commerce platform and customer service! Each transaction made by customers is recorded and analyzed, and sellers have a continuous view of the results, current inventory, and even customer opinions. And it’s all in one place. As a result, Microsoft Dynamics Commerce provides a powerful, integrated commerce platform that connects digital, in-store, and back-end processes to support creating personalized customer interactions, increase the productivity of employees, and optimize store operations.
Manage centrally …
How does it work in practice? Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce offers a headquarter (HQ) part with a central management module that gives a possibility to view information such as content, resources, promotions, inventory, and prices in both physical and online channels. From this level, users can also perform centralized operations, including
- control of products, categories, and assortment in various channels,
- creating and managing promotions across all channels, organizing them by store, catalog or customer and partner affiliation,
- delivery planning based on an extended decision-making process, thanks to advanced analytics and machine learning,
- customer demand forecast – thanks to detailed information based on historical sales and purchase data.
But Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce is not only about the headquarters and processing of huge amounts of data as well as improvements in making key decisions in the area of management. An important element of the solution directly influencing the quality of customer service is the Microsoft Cloud POS system.
… Act locally
Microsoft Cloud POS is a specific point of sale – a system designed as part of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce to support sales in a single store, fully integrated with the headquarters. Microsoft Cloud POS is based on a web browser and performs all operations in the cloud.
Its greatest advantage? Integration of all basic retail processes and additional processes, and presentation of the most important store operations on one clear and intuitive screen. What’s more, the layout of the interface can be personalized, among other things, by adding photos or changing colors.
Each store can individually design the position and size of the buttons, as well as the functions underneath them so that the interface and the scope of available activities best meet the needs of a given facility. Each store can also adjust the availability of individual operations to specific employees, granting them different permissions from the headquarters level – the system adapts the interface view depending on whether a person with basic accesses permissions or an employee with a managerial function is logged in.
Modifications? Thanks to the integration with the headquarters and transfer of all operations to the cloud, all the alternations are applied smoothly and can be implemented almost immediately. When it turns out that an employee lacks a function in the store, he contacts the headquarters and within a few minutes gets the system look tailored to himself, his permissions, and preferences. Each of the employees can have their own individual view if such a need occurs.
When implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce, we always adjust the scope of system features depending on the organization of the sales network. We help not only to design central processes so as to maximize customer benefits. We also train individual sales units to use the full potential of Microsoft Cloud POS and be able to adapt it to their needs. A team of Sii’s specialists is ready to help from the very beginning, offering a selection of the best-suited tools as well as technological and business consulting. We work on each level supporting a digital transformation of the whole company as well as every single process required along the way – Paweł Magnuszewski, Business Development Manager at Sii Polska sums the scope of the possible cooperation in Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementations.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that apart from a powerful and constantly updated purchasing environment that combines all the necessary operations, the system is simply nice and transparent. The attention to attractive and intuitive design guarantees usability and comfort of work for sales operators, as well as gives a positive shopping experience to the customer.
POS in the hands of the customer? Why not!
Microsoft Cloud POS is a system mainly used to support sales, but Microsoft also offers the possibility of interacting with the customer in the store by running the software on standard POS machines, as well as on a tablet or a phone. Making the system available on mobile devices and putting them into the hands of customers has a number of advantages, the most important of which are efficient, fast service in the store and providing the clients with a positive shopping experience similar to those that they have when shopping online. Microsoft Cloud POS implements the omnichannel sales assumptions, offering customers experience in the area of the interpenetration of offline and online purchases. How? Being in a physical store, using Microsoft Cloud POS, e.g. on a tablet, the customer may get an online store experience by receiving the possibility of the digitized search of products and filtering the available assortment in terms of size or color. Importantly, customers can see the products that are available in the entire chain of stores, not only results from their localization.
The system also offers many advanced functions – if the customer buys, for example, a gift for someone and has a specific budget, Microsoft Cloud POS will recommend products from the selected category, e.g. Women’s Clothing or Accessories in the declared sum along with related products, determined at the headquarters level. The buyer has full access to the product card and all its parameters, such as size or available colors, as well as information about the availability of the product in selected locations.
This way – even with traffic in the store, the customer receives all the information immediately, without having to wait in a queue.
Time for dynamic changes
Microsoft Cloud POS means quick, easy, and effective sales management in stationery stores, but this is only a small part of the possibilities offered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce for the retail sector. Why is it worth choosing this solution today? Because the integrated sales environment is the future of trade, not only in retail.
We know that the digital transformation can be challenging, that is why our experts oversee the entire migration and implementation process. Our support covers the entire cycle of the implementation of the operating system, starting from analysis, through designing solutions, to launching a new system and post-implementation support, as well as software development. After the successful implementation of Microsoft Dynamics Commerce, the module can be extended and integrated with such tools as e.g. Microsoft Sales or Microsoft Customer Insights. This allows for even more comprehensive management of all data and ensures their optimization through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI) technologies used in solutions such as Microsoft Azure Data Lake Storage, Microsoft Azure Cognitive Service or Microsoft Power BI – Joanna Antczak, Senior Consultant at Sii Polska explains the capabilities of the Microsoft ecosystem.
Creating a modern, digitized and integrated sales environment is a challenge definitely worth taking. It not only will ensure the comfort of employees, provide customer satisfaction but also give a head start in front of the competition.
Find out more about our solutions for the Retail secror – visit our website.